“Oh, you work from home? Must be nice to stay home all day and do what you want!”
LOL Yeah, right!
Yes, there are advantages. I’ll not deny it. I’ve been fully self-employed since 1999 and couldn’t imagine working a J-O-B now. However, there are a lot of disadvantages as well.
So for those who’ve always wondered, let me give you a run-down of the nitty-gritty. And my fellow authors and bloggers who also don’t work a job outside the home, feel free to chime in with your thoughts! Let’s paint as real a picture as possible.
So from Spunky’s viewpoint…
I set my own hours - when I get up, when I go to bed, and where I go.
When I’m at home, I can wear whatever I want. (I REALLY hate sharp-casual, so that's cool!)
If I get hungry or thirsty, the fridge is not far.
I can make phone calls, respond to emails, do interviews, and meet with people at any point in my day. I don’t have to wait until after work or cram it in during my lunch break.
I have more time to write and promote. I can do more online.
I’m in my comfort zone when at home.
I set my own hours - which means I need to be a self-motivator or I’ll never accomplish anything.
More time to promote means I’ve taken advantage of that - and quadrupled my workload to keep up with my efforts.
There’s a constant parade of distractions - phone calls, emails, deliveries, errands to run, etc. that aren’t business-related. Stupid things vie for my attention - the Internet, snacks I shouldn’t eat, falling snow, etc.
There’s an even bigger parade of necessary distractions! Household chores - laundry, dishes, cleaning house, taking out the garbage, taking care of the cats, preparing dinner, etc. When you’re home, you see these things need to be done - so you do them! There’s also business distractions - phone calls, emails, book requests, trips to the bank or post office, etc. And for those with kids or pets, there’s times when you have to tend to their needs and play with them. (My cats a necessary distraction? Hey, YOU try ignoring those two and see what happens!)
Since each day is always different, I have no set pattern. So I rely heavily on my calendar and to-do list to maintain order among the chaos.
Often, I’m not so much working from home as I’m working out of the home. I’m a professional speaker, so I do speaking engagements and many are during the day. Most media interviews are also during daytime hours. Sometimes it’s book events or I’m meeting with someone or visiting a school or whatever. But often I am gone all day, racking up the mileage on my little SUV. (And besides author & speaker, I’m a pro photographer and I own another business that requires my attention 15-20 hours a week - so I can be really busy during the week.)
When I’m home, especially for more than a day, the temptation arises to retreat and withdraw from the world. And that’s never good!
I don’t receive a steady paycheck, but I still need to bring money into my household. Therefore, my income is totally dependent on my efforts, and it fluctuates with changes in the economy and the seasons. Some months are really good - some really suck!
That is my work-at-home world and the advantages and disadvantages. What are some of yours?