Should you work from home? Pros & cons (… and a reality check).

by Theresa Reed on April 20, 2015

should you work from home

I love working from home.  I’m a total homebody so this suits my introverted disposition perfectly. Confession: if we had decent takeout in my hood, I’d probably never leave!   I kid about that part (um…not really) but seriously – it’s been a fabulous decision and I can’t imagine working any other way.

I have a space I love, I don’t have to commute, and everything (and everyone) I love is nearby.

Working from home is a huge dream for many people. But… it’s not always the “pleasure cruise” that people imagine.

There are distractions and temptations at home that many biz owners struggle to deal with. Plus, emotional issues like isolation and loneliness.

Before you chuck the office and turn your den into your work zone, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of working at home:

Pro: Cat snoozing on your lap while you write.
Con: Sixteen pound cat walks across your keyboard and deletes your masterpiece before knocking over your water and frying the whole computer.

Pro: You can work in pajamas or yoga pants!
Con: Wear loose pants and sit all day and suddenly you’re fifteen pounds heavier.  Bonus Con: Your FedEx man looks just like Billy Dee Williams and you answer the door looking like a broke-down slob.  (Both have happened to me!)

Pro: Clients come to you.  Gas bill?  Buh bye!
Con: Think it’s cheaper working at home? Not so. For starters, if you see clients in your home, you’ll need additional home insurance because they might break their ankle walking down your stairs.  And let’s not forget you’re going to need to set up your office for actual work, and those costs can add up.

Pro: You can be home for the kids!
Con: You’re always home with the kids.

Pro: You can work in total peace but still be available for your family.
Con: Everyone barges in, when they want. Your office often feels like an emergency room.

Pro: You have time to yourself.  Peace + quiet = room to think.
Con: It gets damn lonely.  Although you have that precious “me time” to work, you miss the camaraderie of an office setting. You worry that you’re becoming a modern day Howard Hughes, tissue boxes and all.  That shut-in look? So not you.

Pro: You get to organize your time and schedule to suit your self + how you like to work.
Con: Your family assumes you have all the time in the world so suddenly you’re the one responsible for taking mom to her weekly doctor visit and picking up Aunt Ethel when she comes in from Kentucky.

Pro: You can work at your own pace, without someone breathing down your neck!
Con: Your own pace may involve lots of time fiddling around online, watching Dr. Phil, and raiding the fridge.  Productivity?  What’s that?

Before you decide to work from home ask yourself these questions:

Can I keep a regular work schedule?  Am I disciplined enough – and if not, what can I do to ensure I actually work instead of meandering into the kitchen to root through the fridge?

What will I do to make sure I have a life outside of my home?

How will I set boundaries with my family so that I’m not the family errand girl – or stuck at home with no relief from kiddie care?

Can you set up your office so the cats and kids don’t keep barging in?

After you’ve asked yourself those questions and considered the pros and cons carefully, you’ll have a better idea if this still feels like a fit for you.  If you can say a happy yes, go home and knock it out!  But if you’re not sure, you may want to consider other options such as renting an office or a co-working space.  You can also try working from home part-time to see how it goes.  The important thing is that you find a way to work that makes you work better.

And for me, there’s no place like home.

Blessings!

Theresa

© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

image from stock photography

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