I love working from home about 99% of the time, so this post isn’t so much biased, as it is completely hypocritical. But I won’t deny that there are moments when I think.. well, that didn’t go quite how I thought it would. In fact, most of the dreams and fantasies I had about working from home full time (full time as in 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week), are completely false.
I have always been someone who wanted nothing more than to work from home, though writing really wasn’t what I thought I would be doing. There were a lot of reasons, but mostly because I’m lazy and the thought of getting up to go to work every day sounded like hell, and it was. Plus, I’m an introvert, so being a freelance writer is literally the best thing that could have happened to someone like me.
Now that I have been doing it for over 3 years, I consider myself an expert at pointing out all the exaggerated visions of working in your pajamas, sleeping until noon, and getting to make your own schedule.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions about working from home:
You can make your own hours. This was one of the biggest perks for me, as I envisioned staying up until 2 or 3 am and enjoying the days for running errands, walking my dogs, sleeping late, and lounging around the house with my husband. Yeah, not so much. You work when you have work. So while some days, you have the work ahead of time and can technically do it when you want, the majority of freelance writing has very specific deadlines and it is assigned during random times throughout the day. That means being available almost 24/7 to accept it.
You can work in your pajamas. Technically this is true, but there are multiple drawbacks. First of all, it takes forever to throw on a bra and look somewhat decent when someone rings your doorbell at 10 am. Second, it is really hard motivating yourself to “work” when you don’t at least change out of what you wore to bed. Now yoga pants, you definitely wear.
You get to sleep in. Again, maybe you do get to sleep in, but it didn’t work out that way for me. After years of waking up at 5-6 am every morning for work, my body got used to this schedule, as did my dogs. I still wake up by 6 every single morning, whether I want to or not. If I don’t, my dogs jump on my face until I give up this fantasy of sleeping in until noon.
You will have more free time. Will you? Do you think the only reason you never seem to have time is because you work outside your home? Nope. I have less free time now than I ever did with my out-of-house job. When you work from home, your home becomes your office. Which means every time you are at home, you feel the need to be working. It’s unavoidable.
It will be easier to diet. This might be just me. I used to think eating a healthy diet would be easier at home, because I have access to my kitchen and don’t need to worry about bringing something to work that I can put in the microwave. I may not be tempted by vending machines, but I eat just as shitty as I did when I was a diamond grader.
You can work anywhere. Because I am a freelance writer (and not a customer service rep relying on being near a phone or other office equipment), I can technically bring a laptop to wok anywhere I want. When you are working around 12-14 hours a day, sitting on your bed or couch starts to get physically painful. You WILL end up working at a desk just like a normal office job just to save yourself from severe physical pain. I learned this the hard way.
With that being said, I am thankful every day for the opportunity to earn a living from the comfort of my house. But it definitely has its challenges, so consider them before you quit your job and just go for it.