Let me take you back to the year 2000 when my daughter was born. I was nineteen at the time. My boyfriend was a computer technician and worked at a company in Orlando so during the days I was home alone taking care of an infant, doing house work, the normal ‘stay at home mom’ stuff.
I really enjoyed having the opportunity to raise my daughter but after a few months of this I was really bored. Not bored of being a mother but bored because I had nothing of my own to do.
My boyfriend came home one day and I said to him, “I think I would like to try web design”. And thus began fourteen years of working from home.
Fast forward to today and I am two weeks into working at an actual office. It was a goal for the past few years and I finally made it here. For me, it was the best decision I ever made.
But Should YOU Work from Home?
This post is for anyone currently working from home and finding themselves with cabin fever or for anyone stuck in an office day all day dreaming about working from home.
Since I lived all three worlds; working from home, having my own office and even holding down a “real job” while working from home, I will tell you the advantages and disadvantages to both.
Working From Home Advantages
- Pick your own schedule
- Wear your own attire
- Spend more time with the family
- Keeps overhead low
- Ability to take a break and do housework or other activities
At home I was able to get up when I wanted. Even though I kept a regular schedule of getting up at 7am and going to bed at 11pm it wasn’t set in stone. I could sleep in when I wanted. I could work in my pajamas if I wanted.
I could take a break and do house chores and play with my pets in the middle of the day. I had no office costs and I could take a break to see a movie, spend time with my daughter or go to the library.
Working From Home Disadvantages
- It’s harder to find a work / life balance
- So many distractions
- No separation between work and home
- Cabin fever can set in
- Unprofessional setting if you want to meet clients
However, despite all my freedoms (and the ability to go braless from time to time) the decision to get an actual office was due to the fact that the disadvantages outweighed the good.
I felt as though work was ‘always on’. I didn’t have a spare bedroom for my office so I was set up in the corner of my living room. The temptation to check my email, browse the internet, do just one more hour of work, etc was always there even when it was time to stop working for the day.
I never realized until now how much distraction I had to put up with on a day to day basis; one of my cats wanting attention, someone walking by to get something from the kitchen, my daughter having her friends over and they are laughing upstairs, neighbors knocking on my door thinking I’m not working because I’m home, the laundry needs doing, the couch looks mighty inviting, let’s bake some cookies.
[Tweet “Let’s bake some cookies.”]
Join me tomorrow for part two when I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having an office.
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