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Like many things in life there is a downside to being a work-at-home guy or gal. For example, there is a certain stigma in trying to deal with managers who have an old-fashioned way of thinking that if they can't see you, you couldn't possibly be working.
Working at home often means no boundaries. People tend to take an open door as an invitation to come in and chat without your consent. This can break your concentration and interrupt your thinking. If you’re hard into a project and your partner or child comes in and wants to visit, it could take you 30 minutes or more to get back on track.
Family members and friends tend to think that when you’re working at home you're available to help with other things. There will be times when you simply have to put your foot down and tell people you don't have time for that list of things they would like you to do through the day.
Of course, this is on a case to case basis. When you are employed by a company and you are merely a remote worker, you can rely on the stable income. However, if you are a freelancer, that means you only get paid when you have a project. When you don't, then there is no income. That can lead to an irregular income. This can make budgeting harder. And if you have debts, that can also make it harder to pay off. You might have to rely on debt relief programs like debt consolidation or debt settlement to solve your debt problems.
It might take an introvert
Introverts generally do best in work-at-home jobs. This is because it's a very isolated existence. Some people have a very hard time when they don't have others they can talk with or to bounce ideas off. There may even be moments of loneliness. If you're writing copy and need some feedback you could email it to a coworker or friend for some advice. But there’s no one you could sit with or with whom you could collaborate. If you're an extrovert you might miss the companionship that you would get in an office environment.
To work at home successfully also means learning to work with distractions. No matter what your family members or friends may think you’re not there to hang out, run errands or sit and chat. If your wife, husband or kids need you to do something it's tough to say, "sorry, I'm busy now" but you must learn how to do this.
How do you rate on the self-discipline meter?
How are you on self-discipline? It can be tough to stick to a schedule when there’s no one looking over your shoulder or demanding that you meet a deadline. You have to be both a self-starter and able to discipline yourself to get your work done without a manager haranguing you.
Do you typically get to work on the computer, lose time and forget to stand up, walk, run or dance around occasionally? It can be bad for your health to spend the entire day just sitting in your chair. Many people who work at home use time management strategies such as the Pomodora technique to help them remember to get up and move around frequently so that they’re not just sitting at their desks and stagnating.
A blessing or a curse?
As you have read, being a work-at-home guy or gal can be either a blessing or a curse depending on your personality and your social needs. There are countless numbers of people who have found happiness working at home, while there are many others champing at the bit to get back into an office. Which of these would you be? That’s a question only you can answer. But before you walk out of that office door, jump in the car and drive home for the last time, it’s important to weigh both the benefits and disadvantages so that you will make the best possible decision.
Watch out for work-at-home scams
As mentioned above, there are good, legitimate work-at-home jobs. But there are also scams you need to be aware of including one called reshipping as explained in this video.