The Downsides of Working From Home

I have been doing freelancing work for 7 years. I love how I can earn my keep doing what I love on my own pace. No bosses, no nosy co-workers, no commuting, no clocking in. Working from home sounds like a dream job for many, but in reality, it does have its downsides. I am not writing this to discourage you, I just want to set expectations if you are considering a work from home or freelancing career. 

Downside #1 - Your family will expect you to cater to their needs 24/7 because "you are home." This is so true. For me, I have to do housework. Not just one task but all household tasks! I clean the house, do laundry, cook meals, wash the dishes, run errands, etc. By the time I need to attend to my job, I am already totally exhausted. No matter how I try to tell my family that I have work to do, it seems to fall on deaf ears. I feel like I am the only able-bodied person in the house tasked to do everything. Is this because they think that just because "I am home" I should do those tasks all by myself? They weren't that way when I was working a corporate job. 

Downside #2 - You need to be a guru in multi-tasking. When pressed for time, I take my laptop and work in the kitchen. That way, I can watch what I'm cooking while completing my online tasks at the same time. 

Downside #3 -  You may also need a tablet or a smartphone with a huge memory. My job does not require me to log in to a time tracker. Most of my work is project based, so even if I can work on my own pace, there are still deadlines to meet. The usual turn around time for my tasks is 24-48 hours. If your family is dependent on you for their needs, sitting on your home office desk is "restrictive." You need to be everywhere, every time. Deadlines to meet but need to run errands? Take your tablet or smartphone with you. Workity-work while waiting in line at the check out counter of your local supermarket. Mobility is the key!

Downside #4 - You tend to forget to do self care. My day starts at 5 am and I go to sleep at around midnight. I get 4 to 5 hours of sleep every night and I have to make do with that. I no longer have time to do a nightly beauty routine. After my tasks are done, I just plop into bed and sleep. Self care is a dream unfulfilled. 

Downside #5 - You will not have days off.  Working from home is like doing two full time jobs in a 24 hour day, seven days a week. Honestly, there are days when I wish I was sick. That would be a good excuse for me to just lay in bed the whole day. 

Working from home definitely has its perks. The pay is good. It helps you to save more money because you cut down on expenses for gas or costs for commuting. You won't need to buy new clothes or new shoes to wear to work. And you don't have to deal with snotty bosses! 

If you decide to embark on this career journey, list down your pros and cons. Weigh them out carefully. Do a time and motion study. But the most important thing you need to do first is to ask your family for their cooperation as well.


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