There are many lists posted regarding reasons to work from home. However, many of the lists don’t consider the problems inherent in working from home, as pertains to those lists. What I will attempt to do here is list out some reasons to work from home, the potential issue with each, and how to work around the issue.
- Unlimited Income: This is often called the top reason to work from home. Unfortunately, it is not so much a reason to work from home as it is a reason to work for yourself, or in a profit-sharing organization. Be aware that to achieve unlimited income, you will have to give up reliable income. The greater the potential rewards, the greater the risk.
- Getting Away from the Corporate World: This may be a plus for some, but if your home-based business really takes off, you may find yourself back in the corporate world. Only this time, you’ll be the CEO. Again, the issues in reason #1 still apply.
- More Family Time: If you are truly working from home, then you don’t have more family time. In fact, you can never leave your job, since your office is where ever you happen to be at the moment. You gain time with the removal of commuting time, but if you want your business to be a success, you will have to devote all your energy toward that. However, you do have the flexibility to adjust your hours so that your free time coincides with when your family is around.
- Wear Anything: While you can wear anything, it’s not a good idea. Sure, if your shirt is a bit wrinkled, you don’t need to go press it, but it’s hard to sit down to some serious work when your in a bathrobe and bunny slippers. My recommendation is to be aware of this option, but not to use it except in rare cases.
- No More Negative Co-workers: However, there are also no more positive co-workers. Having other people around to bounce ideas off of, or to get outside expertise, is very helpful. Working from home makes it harder to find these people. If you’re planning on working from home, make sure you know how you’re going to find these positive people.
- Do What You Like To Do: Of course, this assumes that your home-based business has figured out how to make money from your favorite activity. This is a big assumption, but even if it were true, you will soon discover that in addition to doing your favorite activity, you are also an accountant, lawyer, sales agent, developer, secretary, etc. The joys of some portions of the job will wear off pretty quickly. Be prepared to contract out that work when you no longer enjoy doing it (or don’t have time anymore to keep up with it).
- Fewer Distractions: This is only true if you set aside a place to work and stick to it! If your home office is open to the family, they will distract you. If your business phone number is your home phone number, you will get countless calls from people who know you’re at home, such as relatives. Make sure your office can be closed off from the rest of your home (i.e. a door) and that you have a separate phone number for your business, with no access to your home phone number from within your office.
- Work Anywhere: Yes, you have the option of going to the [noisy] coffee shop or the library. If you plan on meeting clients on a regular basis, however, you need some space to call your own. Either set up a space in your home or rent some office space and work there. You can work anywhere, as long as it’s always the same place.
This list is by no means complete. If you’ve heard another reason touted as to why you should work from home and can’t see it working, let me know, and I will see if I can help you figure out a way to make it work.