Have you been thinking about starting a work from home job? Staying in your yoga pants all day. Sleeping in. Having the freedom to play with your kids, fold the laundry, or just sip a hot cup of coffee between tasks. Who wouldn’t want to work from home?!?
But working for yourself isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes there are huge downsides.
It’s up to you to determine whether the plusses outweigh the minuses. But, once you understand the benefits (and drawbacks) of working for yourself, you can be realistic about what you’re getting yourself into.
Work and Home Life Often Collide
Time spent working from home can be unstructured. It can be difficult to create a routine, and there’s often no clear break between work and time off.
You may find yourself working odd hours to accommodate the needs of your family, and you’ll end up feeling like you never have a day off.
You’ll Do a Lot of Work for Free
Especially when you’re first starting, you may find yourself “working” without earning an income. Even once your business is profitable, you may have lots of paperwork and non-billable activities.
It can be hard to push yourself to do things that aren’t producing income right now, but push through so that you can keep your business running smoothly.
On the flip side, since you don’t have anyone pushing you to earn a profit, it’s also possible to get in a rut and focus on only doing what you know, even if you’re not earning a profit.
If you find yourself doing the same tasks without seeing any results, don’t be afraid to test new strategies.
People Will Ask You to Do Stuff
People often assume that you’re not doing anything when you work from home. Many times, people don’t understand your job, they think it’s “just a hobby,” or they don’t even realize that you’re working.
Family and even friends will start to depend on you for everything. They’ll ask you to do their chores, like watching their sick kid, so they can go to work. Your spouse and children will stop helping out around the house as much, since you’re there anyway.
While it’s fine to help out in an emergency, set boundaries and let people know that you still have work, even though you no longer commute to an office.
You’ll Crave Being Out of the House
Working from home can be lonely. You may even feel stifled at home with no one to talk to.
To get a change of scenery, try working from a coffee shop, library, or even a park on a sunny day. Just make sure to stay focused!
You’ll Get Distracted by All.The.Things.
Without structure or a stable work environment, even the most organized person can go down a rabbit hole of social media, housework, or even Netflix.
Set up a good working schedule to keep you focused during the day.
You can try the Pomodoro technique (set a timer and work for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break several times throughout the day), time block your day, or even batch task to get work done.
No More 9-5
If you arrange your business right, you can work when you’re most productive.
If you’re a morning person or have young kids, wake up before your family to get work done before everyone else is even out of bed.
You can also go to bed when you want. If you’re a night owl, you won’t have the pressure of starting work promptly at 8 a.m. (or earlier).
No More Traffic Jams
One of the best perks of working from home is not worrying about traffic jams during rush hour. Especially on bad weather days or holidays, you can be more productive by avoiding a long commute.
Fewer Work-Related Interruptions
Office chatter (and gossip) can get overwhelming at times, and it can be difficult to get work done.
Frequent office meetings can also be overwhelming (and often unnecessary). When you work from home, you’ll be less likely to have to attend unnecessary meetings.
You Can Wear Anything
When you work from the comfort of your house, feel free to wear pajamas, yoga pants, or a fuzzy bathrobe.
When you’re first starting, feel free to wear what you want. However, as you get settled working from home, you may find that you’re more productive when you wear clothing that you feel good in, like a pretty blouse or even makeup.
You’ll Have a Flexible Schedule
If you have a parent-teacher meeting, you don’t have to ask permission to go. If you want to get your hair done, go for it.
Whatever you want to do during the day is up to you as long as you find time to also get your work done so you can get paid. Your schedule is your own.
You Can Eat Healthier
When you work outside the home, it can be tempting to go out to eat and socialize with coworkers. That can be super expensive, and it is also very unhealthy for everyone to do it.
When you work from home, prepare healthy lunches for yourself or eat leftovers from dinner the night before.
Save money and save your health!
Working from home offers many benefits, even though there are a few drawbacks.
It’s up to you to decide if you have the personality for it. You’ll need to rein in family and friends who want to take advantage of you, as well as yourself, to stay on track for creating a healthy and profitable home business.