A career that allows you to work from home can be considered the ‘dream’. I work from home normally one or two days a week and whilst it’s what I began doing as a freelancer at the start of 2018, it’s thrown up so many different positives and negatives to working from home.
How do you go about working from home?
In the previous two jobs I have had, they have allowed me to work from home. These days any job that is online and doesn’t involve office call manning generally can allow for working from home. That being said, that doesn’t mean every company allows for it. In the 21st century, more businesses should allow for flexible working especially as most work is online. If you haven’t approached the subject before maybe bring it up with your boss, if they say no, what’s the worst that can happen. But asking the question at least lets your employer know that your considering flexible options.
So, tell me, what are some of the benefits of working from home?
I’m not going to deny that when I have a work from home day I love being able to focus on my own projects. I am often able to pick up on my day jobs but it allows me to do my own thing. I can pop out and run errands if I need to, go to the doctors at an acceptable time of day, eat anything from my fridge and keep warm and cosy in my pjs. My work from home days tend to be focused on my blog so I can sit down and smash out a handful of blog posts. In the winter, it allows me to take photos during the day which is pretty helpful when daylight savings comes into play.
I feel incredibly lucky to work from home but I like having the odd day in the week to do it, I don’t think I could do it all week long.
And the pitfalls of working from home?
Working from home has its negatives as well as its positives. The most obvious difference about not being in an office is the loneliness. When I started freelancing in 2018, the weeks where I wasn’t in an office or had much on, was pretty lonely. I don’t have loads of friends nearby so I couldn’t just go see them for lunch either.
I really enjoy having a gang of people I can talk ideas with, be involved in the banter and feel part of something. You really notice it once you’ve not got it. I find that when I have a few days out of seeing colleagues or clients, Dan gets an earful of chatter as soon as he walks through the door. Poor guy!
As adult as it sounds, you also cost more when you work from home. So although the taxman allows you to claim for your office and some of your bills, you can’t claim everything back. So whilst it’s great to be at home during Christmas time and put a cheeky Netflix film on whilst working, you’ll be paying for the heating. Whereas in an office, the bills aren’t really your concern.
Everyone presumes if you work from home, you’re having a day off.
I don’t know why but there’s a weird perception that if you work from home, you can automatically go have a day off. Any self-employed person can relate I’m sure that their family assumes they’re free when you work from home. I work my socks off on my work from home days and I probably work longer hours as there’s no ‘home time where you have to leave’.
As 2019 kicks off and flexible working is becoming more common, I think the misconception of being self-employed meaning unemployed needs to be left behind.
So have you ever worked from home? Did you feel more productive or less motivated? I’d love to know your thoughts and if it’s something you’re considering in your long term career goals.