Should You Work from Your Home?

Written by Karen Bryan

Many people are looking at ways to work from their home. It could be to avoid commuting, or to fit in with caring commitments. I’ve been working full time from home for almost three years now. It definitely does have advantages, but it’s not all a bed of roses. Below are six of the issues you may encounter and how they’ve affected me, to help you judge if you should work from your home.

Social Isolation

I don’t feel too socially isolated as my husband is an early retiree, so I see him a few times a day for meals, coffee breaks and a walk most days. Also, I spend part of my day on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, so I do have “virtual” social contact.

Lack of Boundaries Between Personal Life & Work

I started my travel site Europe a la Carte in 2002 because it combined a hobby with a way to earn money. There was already an intertwining of personal and work life; therefore I can’t really complain about the lack of boundaries between these two parts of my life. Although I do admit it means I tend to work longer hours, because I can be in my office in seconds and I’m interested in what I do. As a travel blogger I’ve been invited on press trips; although they weren’t holidays because I always had to think about gathering material for the blog. I’ve been able to visit more European destinations than I would’ve done if I’d had to pay for all my own travels. Personal finance was another interest of mine, as I’d always looked after the family finances, so starting Help Me To Save in 2011 was another merger of the personal life and work.

Being Dependent on Broadband

As an online publisher, I’m totally dependent on having a good broadband connection in my office. A couple of years ago, our broadband was down for two one-week periods within a few months. Although I had a USB modem, the signal where we live was so slow, it had me tearing my hair out, as simple tasks were taking so long.

Lack of Exercise

Althought a fair number of people drive to work and then sit in an office all day, some do walk or cycle, either all the way or at least to the bus or train station. If you work from home, you don’t spend time and money on the commute, but you are more likely to just be around the house all day. Unless the weather is awful, I go for a walk of at least 40 minutes every day.

Motivation

I don’t generally have a problem with motivation; I suppose being self employed doing something I enjoy (most of the time) keeps me motivated.  Running two websites, one about European travel and one on personal finance, means that I’ve a long to-do list every day. The change of topics gives me some variety. It is hard to keep writing articles; I think I’ve scheduled articles to cover a few weeks and all too soon, they’ve all been published and I need to sit down and write some more. Also I know I need to earn a certain amount of money for us to a have a reasonable standard of living.

Distractions/Obligations

I’m fortunate in that I don’t have any caring obligations, our sons have grown up and flown the nest. My husband does most of the domestic tasks, freeing me up to focus on work.  If I had young kids at home, I’d want to spend time with them and would find it hard to concentrate on work.

Fashion Police Alert

You can wear any old thing when you’re working from home and I’m becoming far too fond of my comfy trackie bottoms; although I am saving money not having to be smartly dressed for work.

You can read my related article on the advantages and disadvantages of self employment.

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