I’ve been working from home for almost a year now; part-time that is. I still work my full-time job Monday through Friday, and I freelance during the evenings and weekends so I get to experience the best and worst of both worlds first hand.
I’ve noticed there are quite a few work-from-home myths circulating around these days – some of which I actually used to believe. The media and other sources may paint working from home as this ideal picture where you get to sleep in, work in your pjs and do whatever you want when you want, but that’s just certainly not the case.
Here are 6 common work-from-home myths that need to be exposed and put to rest.
1. You’re Not Really Working
Whoever came up with this myth was seriously disturbed. A lot of people still think working from home really isn’t ‘working’. In my personal experience, a lot of my older family members feel this way and don’t understand what I do because they are so used identifying work and success with brick and mortar businesses and blue collar white collar workers who work a typical 40-hour per week job.
Society is changing though (luckily) and more and more people are working-from-home. The main point is, they’re still working; and working hard might I add. There’s no secret formula or special juice to professional success. You need to put in the hard work in order to get paid whether you work at on office, out in the field, or at your home.
2. It’s Easier than Working Outside of the Home
Yes, the idea of working at home may seem easier and in certain ways it is. While you won’t have to deal with the pros and cons of having coworkers along with a boss that’s just a few feet away that you need to report to, there will still be other challenges that you’ll need to overcome.
While you can literally do whatever you want when you want when you work from home, you need to have discipline you’ll get nothing done. Sure, you can sleep until 10 a.m. and meet up with a friend for a two hour lunch break, but you won’t probably won’t get much work done that day unless you work late into the evening.
There are also tons of temptations lying around in your home in the form of your bed, your fridge and your television. I usually work from my kitchen table and I’ve felt tempted to just jump back in bed for a few hours or run to the T.V. to watch a movie on the days when I have to work-from-home more than I’d like to admit. It’s important to stay focused and have self-discipline if you want to avoid those temptations.
3. You’ll Have More Spare Time When you Work From Home
This is the myth I used to believe wholeheartedly. I knew that if I worked from home full-time it would cut down on my commute and speedup my productivity so I could have more time to clean up the house and spend time with family.
I believed this until I stayed home to freelance for a few whole days. When I was recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction last year, I stayed home from my day job and decided to freelance the entire day. From the time I dropped my son off at school at 8 am to the time I had to get ready to pick him up just after 2pm, I got about a total of 3 things done. Dinner wasn’t made or prepped, and I hadn’t even started on tidying up the house at that point.
This just goes to show you that how much spare time you have is mainly determined by your time management skills. I’ve heard plenty of people who work-from-home complain that they still don’t feel like they have enough time to get things done or have plenty of unproductive days when little gets accomplished.
Improving your time management skills and balancing your work day is always a work-in-progress no matter where you do work.
4. You Can work While the Kids are Sleeping and Won’t Need Daycare
This is everyone’s dream but it rarely happens. Kids can nap for about 2-3 hours on good days and most of the time I just want to lay down and nap with my son but I choose to knock out some work instead.
If you’re trying to earn a full-time income while working at home, nap time hours might not be enough. But you can always try to work early in the morning or late at night depending on when your child sleeps as well. Some people still pay for part-time child-care or have a nanny step in to help with the kids for a few hours to free up more time to work uninterrupted.
5. To Work-From-Home You Need to be Lucky
Successful people who work from home are not lucky – contrary to popular belief – and they don’t just fall into their line of work randomly. It takes hard work, dedicaton and a detailed plan to start working from home.
Whoever tells you that it’s super easy to start working from home and making good money in the beginning stages may not be telling the whole story.
6. Anyone Can Do It
I think this is a common myth because personally I don’t believe just anyone can work from home. Some work-from-home jobs are so simple that anyone can do the work, while others are a little more complex and require training.
However, it takes a certain type of person to work-from-home. Like I said, you need to be disciplined and focused so you can make the most of your time and work productively without a having a boss nearby to hover over your shoulder.
You also need to be okay with working alone since some people actually like having coworkers and interacting with others in person during the work day.
Working from home isn’t perfect, but it can be ideal for the right person.
What work-from-home myths have you heard?