For 2 years now I have had the opportunity that many people dream of. I get to work from home. When I mention what I do to people I get a wide variety of responses. Some think I’m the luckiest person alive with the greatest job in the world while others snicker, thinking its a euphemism for being unemployed. The numbers of people working from home has increased dramatically in the last decade. As technology improves, working from home will likely become a viable option for more people.
I enjoy the privileges of working from my home and all the financial benefits it brings. However, as great as it is, people fail to realize that working from home presents its own challenges and is a lot harder than people think.
Home is Full of Distractions
When you find your work from home job one thing that you will soon realize is that the house is full of distractions. There is the T.V., stereo, pets, children, games and a whole host of other things that will distract your mind from working. To make a success of a work from home venture, you need to set aside the times you are going to devote to your project. I am fortunate to work directly for a company that operates 24/7 so I can make my schedule how I choose. Some weeks I like working early mornings while others I sleep in and work later. The point is you need to find what works for you and set aside those hours for work just as if you were at a job.
You’re Always at Work
When I first started working from home, I was amazed at how tired I was. Not physically but mentally. A fellow work from home colleague pointed out my problem. I had my work area in my bedroom. My thinking was I would get far more done if I worked in a place where I was comfortable. The problem however is that I could never switch off from the job. I’d try watching TV or relaxing with my work computer staring me in the face. I soon found I was returning to it, doing reports or other work tasks. It is true you need a comfortable work are but this needs to be separate from your living area. You need a place that when you are finished you can shut the door and leave for the night. Once I set up a separate office area I found I felt much better.
Isolation is another problem many face when working from home. When at home you lack the company of work friends and colleagues and your life can become quite lonely. The problem can be even worse for those that are single. If your work from home, establish a social network both online and off. Make sure you don’t lose contact with the outside word.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working from home and can’t imagine doing anything else. However it has taken me some time to get the right balance and learned to discipline myself to make the venture a success.