...The Tech's Blog
A blog by Paul (Jack) Daniels, of all things technical being an independent publisher and some things not.
Tue, 17 May 2011 16:14:32 +1000 696 views

First up, let me say I do love working from home, it is highly rewarding and quite flexible if you're willing to put the hours into it. Though I must warn people, there are hidden dangers, so read on to find out more

Other people will not comprehend your situation. There's no easy way to put it, people who do not work from home, or for themselves will very rarely have any clue about how truly busy you are. To other people you have the 'great easy life' and you spend 90% of your day lounging around in your casual clothes, sipping on tea or snoozing the day away. They will think that you've got all the free time in the world, they will think you can drop everything and fit into their schedule, they will think that you have a low-stress job, they will look down on you and see you as having a lesser title in life, you will not ever be roughing it as much as they are in their lives. People will not understand, "but you work at home, how hard could your life be?".

Your free time will vanish. Working at home will probably mean that your free time will be claimed by your work. Some home-working people do end up finding the discipline to shut off, however a lot of us still clawing our way through life find that we sacrifice casual free time to the desire of wanting to get ahead (which may well be counter productive - but that's not the point of this blog entry). When you wake up in the morning, you are typically starting work within 15 minutes and you often won't stop until 15 minutes before you go to bed.

Your work hours will expand. You might well start out doing 9am-5pm, but over time that shifts to 8am-10pm and often longer.

Stress and responsibility will increase. So you might not have an actual single human 'boss' to report to, however in place of that you now have the banks, customers and all other manner of people, all of whom you have no barriers to hide behind anymore, they are now all your bosses. Since you're not going to be likely to be pulling a regular pay-cheque, you're now also going to have the added stress of never being quite as sure of when the next lump of money will arrive ( in reality, you never know when your 9-5 job is going to be canned either ). In terms of responsibility, you now have to be extra strict on yourself, you have to enforce your own schedules, you have to whip yourself to do things; no more having a convenient 3rd party or social structure to impose that discipline. You could just let everything go lax but it'll be to your own peril in the long run.

Your world will shrink, you will become lonely. Oh sure, we all hate gossip at normal jobs, however there's little denying that having that enforced social interaction does help stop you being quite as lonely. Working at home is a sure fire way to have your social circle shrink and if you're a person who loves being with other people (other than customers) then you might want to rethink working for yourself at home.

People will try abuse your convenience. With no apparent boss to fire you, people (family, friends) will try to dump stuff on you, failing to have any clue what so ever that in doing so they completely mangle your own routines and schedules. I can only suggest being rather blunt in this area, anything short of blunt just tends to lead you down the path of wasting 2 hours on the phone/email trying to explain why you can't just accommodate their whims (and they'll still hate you in the end), so just be as blunt as practical, "Sorry, I cannot help, I'm working".

Hope that some of you out there can nod your heads in agreement. Is it any wonder I'm trying to be a hermit, leaving the phone off the hook and avoiding things, I'm trying to work for a living!

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