So, You Think You're Ready To Work From Home?
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
We’ve dispelled some of the common misconceptions about working from home. Dispelling myths is only half the job though. If you’re to make good decisions, you’ll need the whole package. To be fully armed, you need some truth bombs too. So, we’re going to discuss some things that you can expect from a work from home job.
If you’re not careful, your remote job will try to dominate your life. That’s not really a huge surprise, that’s just how work is. The surprise is that after a while working remotely, you’ll start doing it voluntarily! You may become obsessed with long hours, meeting deadlines and exceeding expectations. This usually comes from either an overachiever’s mindset, the fear of not having enough money at the end of the month or a lack of time management. Telling time seems to be a skill that freelancers lose the longer they work from home. Time slips away easily and days often get rolled into one. Combatting this will require deliberate effort, and it’s worth it because physically and mentally crashing is just around the corner from this kind of imbalance.
NO TECH SUPPORT
Technology is wonderful and it is everybody’s best friend...until it’s not. Computers will spazz and machines will go down at home in the same way that it did in the corporate office, but the gag is, “corporate” had tech support! You don’t! Unless you work from a co-working space that provides tech support or you have tech support in your network, you can find yourself at a great disadvantage. For one thing, you ACTUALLY have to pay for the repairs and replacement of this technology. Secondly, unless you have backup hardware, you’ll be without the benefit of your own personal computer. There are alternatives but the cost of everything will ultimately fall on you.
COMMUNICATE OR STARVE
This is critical. A lot of remote workers may never meet their clients/employees. People work better with people who they can trust. The quality of your work will contribute to trust-building, but communication is the ace in your cap. Communication not only builds trust, but it also clarifies expectations and makes the lack of physical presence more bearable. You may not be the greatest communicator going into your remote working situation but give it time. When you play the game of working from home, you’ll learn to communicate or you’ll starve #weakGOTreference.
Remember those myths we spoke about before? Well, even though we spoke about them, not everybody got cured. The same thing will happen to you. You will find yourself explaining your working situation repeatedly, but not everybody will get it. This will require you to set some pretty solid boundaries (and follow through with them). It is easy for others to expect you to be available at all times and more flexible than you actually are. It is up to you to dictate how your business operates because whether you realize it or not, you ARE your business, your time is very valuable and your brand is depending on you.
Depending on how long you worked in a traditional job, you may have gotten accustomed to the constant hubbub of your office. Having colleagues (assuming you actually liked them) and a central “watering hole” caters to our desire for human contact and acceptance. This is something that you can combat but it’s better to know that it’s lurking around the bend than to be pounced upon completely unprepared.
No, it’s not a total myth. There can be more freedom in your remote working situation than in a traditional job. You get to choose what you do. How much freedom you have after that will depend on the job that you chose. You may be able to choose your hours, your rates, your office space for the day, whether or not you wear clothes and what time you get out of bed. That being said, if you don’t work you won’t get paid. It is that simple. You offer a product or service in exchange for compensation, so when you exercise your freedom, do so wisely.
YOU REDISCOVER YOURSELF
Whatever you thought you knew about yourself will be tested by a work-from-home or remote working model. You will find out how much grit you have, how efficient you are, how reliable you can be and how deep your resourcefulness runs. Skills become sharpened and you find out whether you are a fighter or a “flighter”. The longer you run your own business, the more you discover about yourself. I hope you fall in love with what you find.
Working from home is a great opportunity that can be leveraged by anybody but it is not meant for everybody. Before you decide to quit your 9-5, be sure you know what’s out there waiting for you. Trust me, it’s a whole new world.
“Being self-employed means you work 12 hours a day for yourself so you don't have to work 8 hours a day for someone else.” - Oliver Markus Malloy, Inside The Mind of an Introvert