I’ve been working from home for the last few years now, and I’ve discovered there are a lot of pros and cons.
For myself the pros definitely outweigh the cons, though. You know, I’ve wanted to work for myself for as long as I can remember. Even when I decided to go to school for journalism it was to eventually become a freelance writer and I made that known to all of my professors and classmates ( and it’s what I do now). So being able to do that makes me so unbelievably happy!
Which is why I want to start with the pros of working from home.
The Pros of Working From Home
If you own your own business you will need somewhere to work. Some people prefer to work in a studio space or office outside of the house, but working from home is definitely the cheapest option. I mean, you’re already paying rent or a mortgage for the space you live in, why pay for more space unless you absolutely have to? Not to forget you’ll have to set up utilities and internet in your work space outside of the house, which is just more expenses you don’t need! As a bonus, you might even be able to claim part of your rent or mortgage, as well as your utilities and internet fees, for your house as a business expense!
You’ll save money on gas because your commute to work is basically a few steps from your bed, rather than having to drive somewhere. You can also save money on daycare costs! I worked solely from home for an entire year after I graduated college, including two summers when my daughter was off from school and I didn’t have to worry about daycare at all. It was awesome!
If you have a spare room, a rec room, or even a corner of your living room, it helps to have a designated space for your work.
Work Own Hours
My absolute favourite part of working from home is being able to set my own work hours! Routine really gets me down after a while, and I’m constantly needing to shake things up. I can work whenever I want, including in-between class and swimming lessons, or late at night (like right now), or even on the weekends.
This is also helpful for when you have other things that come up like birthday parties, doctor appointments, or having to wait for the internet guy to swing by. Instead of having to take time of work or squeezing a hundred tasks into your one day off, you can continue to work, take an hour off to get shit done, and then get back to it.
When you work from home it’s easy to just throw the laundry in or sweep the floors when your eyes need a break, or your legs need a stretch. You can get so much more done around the house when you work from home compared to working somewhere else.
Of course, all of these have their downsides, too. Now the cons…
The Cons of Working From Home
If you’re a social person working from home can be a real bummer. Fortunately, I really enjoy being alone and working by myself so this isn’t a huge problem for me, but even as an introvert I do feel lonely at times. Mostly it’s this need to connect with people who I can talk to about my business and my day-to-day work life.
I think a lot of creative entrepreneurs miss out on having someone around to talk to about their work life and it sucks. Which is why I’ve made more of an effort to connect with people online (like in my Facebook group!) and have been looking for ways to connect more in person, too. For example, I joined a local Etsy group and will be attending my very first “Etsy Out of Office” event next week!
Finding ways to work around this is super important.
I also just want to throw it out there that if you work from home and are aching to connect with other entrepreneurs, send me a message and we can totally have a coffee date over Skype sometime!
This is my biggest weakness! Some days I am so motivated, and other days I feel like just opening my laptop screen is a mission and a half all on its own.
When you work from home you have to be self-motivated. There is literally no one around to kick your butt into gear; no bosses lurking around to make sure you get things done, no co-workers depending on you to pull your weight, and no one there to give you deadlines. It really is all up to you!
Of course, as a freelance writer I do have deadlines and that helps, otherwise I am the queen of procrastinating!
Something I’ve been wanting to try to help combat this is an accountability buddy, someone else who works from home who I can talk to at least once a week, and we can support and encourage one another to get all our tasks done. I’m not super good at making friends, even online, but forming some kind of “mastermind” group is still on my to-do list. If you’re looking for a biz bud, too, message me and we can become productive pals!
And of course, when you work from home there are a ton of distractions! I mean, the TV is always just sitting there, with hundreds of TV shows I haven’t caught up on yet, begging me to tune in. Then there’s the cleaning, my dog who always wants to be walked and my kiddo (who is an only child) that wants my attention 24/7.
Yeah, it’s great to be able to do the laundry or clean the floors in the middle of my work day, but sometimes those household chores become the biggest distraction from work. And it’s tricky, too, because even though you know you should be working, cleaning the dishes still makes you feel productive, so how can that be a bad thing? Except it is when you know your deadline is approaching.
Then, your friend texts you because she has the day off and wants to meet up for lunch and shopping. And since you rarely get to see her you decide to bail on work and have fun. But then this becomes a regular thing, because hanging out with friends and shopping is way more fun than working (most of the time). Until eventually you smarten up and hunker down to get caught up for the week.
Basically, there are a lot of distractions when you work from home! And the only way to solve this one, is to get organized, set work hours for yourself, and make yourself stick to it.
What are some pros and cons of working from home that you’ve noticed?