It might sound nice. Don’t have to go into an office, battle rush hour traffic, do what you want… I hate to break it to you, but it’s not like that. Working from home takes more discipline than going into an office. A lot more.
This post is about working from home, also known as “working remotely” for a company where you still have business hours to keep. This isn’t about working for yourself from home or owning a home business.
I work in digital marketing remotely. I have a standard 9-5 schedule to keep, but since my company is in a different time zone, my 9 to 5 is actually 10 to 6.
The time difference gives me a bit more freedom that you would have with a job where you need to go into an office, but the bottom line is that it’s still a job and one that I care a lot about. I love working for the company and am thankful that they’ve let me work from my home remotely.
Even though everyone I’ve met said that they’re envious that I can work from home, it’s not exactly what they all think.
Be honest, when you think of working from home, your thoughts are of those pajama mavericks holding remote Skype meetings in their bathrobes, or only being dressed from the waist up. What those people are thinking of is the “home business” and “self-employed” stay at home workers. They are a totally different breed of worker than those of us that work for a company and have a 9 to 5 time commitment.
At one point, I thought working from home would be so much fun (I still do, by the way). I thought the same thing as you do. It sounds like fun — breakfast while working, run to the kitchen for coffee or lunch, commute all of thirty seconds from your office to the living room to go home at the end of the day. This part is really great, but here’s what a remote employee does not have the freedom to do:
- Choose your own working hours
- Do whatever you want
- Take a day off whenever you want
It’s still a job. I still have to show up for work every weekday. I still put in vacation time requests, and I still answer to a boss (A very nice one, I might add).
If you’re looking into remote employment, don’t do it with any illusions as to what you’re getting yourself into.
Working from home, especially if you have kids can be distracting. They’re going to bother you. A lot. You also have to contend with other distractions including no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing what you are supposed to be doing.
If you want to work from home for a company, you need to be very focused, committed and determined to make it work. It’s a normal job, just not in a place of business.
If working out of your house doesn’t work for you, consider using a shared workspace or renting a cheap office room. You can go to work and not be disturbed, but the benefit is that you can choose your own location.
I really enjoy working from home, but I am very focused (more than most) and determined to make this work for the company, my family and I.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever worked from home, or are thinking of doing so.