Sure, working in your PJs on your cozy sofa may seem like a good idea. The thought of not having anyone monitor or act superior over you can be lovely. However, that doesn’t make it all rainbows and unicorns. Work is still work, no matter where you have to do it from. And getting work done from home comes with its own set of challenges that traditional office workers may not necessarily be prepared for.
Don’t get caught off guard when taking on a work from home role. Here are 5 myths about working from home that you should consider. Once you understand what working from home entails, you’ll be one step closer to being your own boss while also having more control of your financial future.
1. It isn’t really “working”
Having your butt in the office chair from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing something productive. If anything, this can be far from the truth. Anyone can look like they are doing something productive in their offices when in reality they are playing Farmville or just shuffling papers whenever they see their boss pass by. And opting to stay back a little longer past the office hours can also make the boss think you are putting in more effort than everyone else. However, what really matters is the results of all your effort.
People who choose to work from home don’t have the luxury of simply looking productive. In work from home situations, there is often more pressure to produce quantifiable results. Successful entrepreneurs and freelancers who take their jobs from home seriously have seen the benefits of doing so. As long as you can challenge yourself to produce your best work and get results for your work, you should be good to go no matter where you are.
2. It’s a lot easier compared to working in an office
Of course, certain aspects of working from home may make it look easier. Think about it; you don’t have to face the constant office distractions like ringing phones or co-workers wondering into your office now and then. Plus, the idea of taking a break whenever you feel exhausted or just feel like doing so can be appealing. You are your own boss when working from home.
However, what most people don’t grasp about working from home is that it demands a lot more discipline. Remember, you have no one monitoring or supervising you. If you lack the discipline, determination, and self-drive to push yourself to work, then you’ll get nothing done.
Sure, you can spend the whole day catching up on laundry or browsing social media. But if you are not careful, you may end up paying for it, especially when racing with time to meet deadlines.
3. You don’t need child care
Working from home doesn’t mean you won’t need childcare. While I know several freelancers who work from home and take care of their kids at the same time, it’s not always ideal. A spat between siblings can easily turn your focus away from that important work report.
More importantly, working from home doesn’t mean professionalism goes out the window. You don’t want to be known as that worker who takes a call while their 5 year old throws an epic tantrum in the background.
Thus, even if you’re working from home, plan child care accordingly. At the least, get a babysitter for those few hours during the day where you know that you won’t be able to play both super parent and awesome worker. For a lot of parents, this means getting a babysitter for a few hours during school pick up and homework time.
For those of you who want to think outside the box, there’s an opportunity to combine the best of both worlds by starting a home daycare. Keep in mind that your own children will often count in calculating various state mandated adult to child ratios.
4. You get a better work-life balance
Working at an office comes with the benefit of having a tangible off time. I know when I worked at a typical 9-5 office, doors were shut and janitors were ready to clear the space out no later than 6pm. Although there were times where I took work home, for the most part, that physical shutting down of the building, signalled to my brain that work was done for the day. It created a sense of work-life balance.
In contrast, working from home often doesn’t come with those built in start and stop times. This can make it harder to achieve a work-life balance. Earlier in my freelancing career, I made the mistake of setting up my home office in my own bedroom. This made it incredibly difficult to turn my brain off from work. Thus, if you’re going to work from home, it’s critical to plan out how you’ll set up your physical space and create boundaries between work and life.
5. You can do whatever, whenever
It’s true. Working from home gives you the freedom to do some things that you aren’t really allowed to do while working from the office. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do away with your to-do list. Even though you don’t have the physical presence of a boss or teammates surrounding you, you are still accountable for the work required of you. And time will always be a limiting factor. It’s all simple; if you don’t work, there won’t be any results. Just like in a traditional workplace, failing to produce results will hurt your team and your career.
Avoid this by scheduling all your tasks and keeping yourself on track at all times. Consider the business advice of Bill Gates and plan each part of your day meticulously. Do this right, and you may just get away with occasional free periods to relax while others are still in their offices working or even worst, dealing with a long work commute.
Working from home isn’t as easy as it’s cracked out to be. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a hugely rewarding experience. Like a traditional workplace, it requires a strong work ethic and discipline. Logistics such as childcare and creating a professional physical work space is still required. Most of all, creating and maintaining a work-life balance is just as critical in work from home roles.
Each individual has to tailor their work from home environment to their own personality and work demands. However, everyone should plan out a project management system, a system for professional work communication and a distraction free home office space. Check these requirements off your to do list and you’ll be on your way to a successful work from home experience.
Did you know you can earn money from home with an At-Home Daycare? Check it out here!