Working from home is often thought of as the ideal employment situation.
Picture you, in your pajamas, no make up, feet up on the desk, laptop in front of you, bowl of Doritos by your side. Making a living from the comfort of your own home!
And if you’re a stay at home mom and you want to make a little extra money but can’t seem to fit a job outside of the home in between school pick up and drop off, running back and forth from football and ballet practice, and throwing daily errands and grocery shopping on top of that, working from home becomes a real, viable option for bringing in extra income.
Speaking from experience, working from home can be a lifesaver. It can be easy and less expensive. But many people don’t realize that just as working outside of the home has its challenges, so does working from home.
So let me tell you the truth about working from home.
1. Working from home is easier. Working from home is so much easier when it comes to time management. There is no two hour long shower-make up-get dressed-do hair ritual (am I the only one that takes two hours?). There is no making your lunch for the day. You can literally roll out of bed and get to work. That’s not always how it goes, but it’s very possible.
2. You will still feel guilty about working from home. This is a hard one. Many moms think working from home is ideal because they’ll have the ability to be with their children during the day and work at the same time. If you have small children and you find a job where you don’t have to actually speak to clients, having your children there with you is possible and you don’t have to find or pay for childcare. However, when those little faces see you working and come up to you and ask to build a fort or play hide and go seek and you have to tell them for the fifteenth time that you can’t because you’re working, it’s almost worse than going to work outside of them home in the first place. And if you talk to clients on the phone, it’s a constant game of “How Can I Keep This Child Busy and Quiet?!” If you opt for day care while you’re working from home, what was the point of that anyway? You are still paying for daycare and commuting. It almost defeats the whole purpose of working from HOME.
3. Working from home is less expensive. While you may find a work from home job that pays less, consider that you won’t be spending extra gas on the commute back and forth to work. Consider that you might not have the same child care expenses. Consider that you might save on wardrobe and the expense of professional attire. There are also other expenses that come up working outside of the home that you don’t have to deal with working from home – parking fees, lunches out, and did I mention gas for the commute? Because that deserves a second mention.
4. Working from home is still exhausting. You might not realize it, but working from home is still exhausting. Sure, you might not have to deal with coworkers and clients face to face or the long commute home. But, believe me, troubleshooting with customers and clients on the phone can be just as exhausting. You’re still using your brain, you’re still working, you’re still getting yelled at if you’re in customer service. And depending on what kind of work you do, you can sometimes feel like your work and home life are hard to separate. You might still feel like your work is never done because even when you’re done for the day, there’s no building to leave. Your work is still there staring you in the face.
5. Working from home is so convenient. Do you need to get some laundry done? Throw a load in between phone calls and emails. Do you have to sweep the floor? You can do that while you’re on a call. Are you on hold? Fold some laundry. Need to run out to pick up a kid or drop off something at the post office? Go ahead!
6. Working from home may not seem like a “job” to others. If you’re working from home, get ready. Many people don’t see it as working. Spouses, friends, relatives, they’re all guilty.
Your sister might say, “Hey, I need someone to watch the baby. Can you do it since you’ll be home?” Yeah, you’re home. But you’re working!
Or the spouse might say, “Well, I was working all day and you were home, can’t you run to the store?” You were working, too! It’s really hard for some people to acknowledge working from home is still working!
7. Working from home really is the best of both worlds. Legitimate work from home jobs really do allow you to earn an income and be available for your family. There is more flexibility, less cost, and time spent not commuting back and forth to job is time for your family. Or more time to get your nails done. Your choice.