Common Misconceptions about Working From Home
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
The best of both worlds may have been an excellent theme song choice for a certain teenage show, but it doesn’t accurately describe the topic we’re about to discuss. In this new age that we find ourselves, it is important that we understand the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the realities of working from home.
Myth #1 - Freelancers don’t actually “work”
Fact: Traditional businesses feature co-workers in a shared space, an established office culture, and a designated work-space. None of these things make up the definition of work. A person who works from home may have flexibility as it relates to attire but a serious entrepreneur or freelancer is as productive if not more productive than a traditional worker.
For some, there is no fixed cut off time because there is no heavy traffic and busy commute to contend with at the end of the day. When you’re already at home, overtime is an easy habit to adopt.
Myth #2 - You have total control over your schedule
Fact: This myth is coming from yet another myth. The reality is that there is a wide variety of freelancers and they offer different kinds of services. Some persons monetize online platforms or they have a business that they leverage from home.
When a person works from home, they are offering a service to clients. They may be working for companies that have adapted to the remote working culture. So your friend or family member that you think does nothing all day may also be working a 40-80 hour work week (and sometimes more). The fact that they do it from home, does not negate that and it certainly does not mean that they have complete autonomy over their schedule.
Myth #3 - You cannot really earn money this way
Fact: Umm...hello? Freelancers have bills and responsibilities just like traditional workers do. The pay scale will vary across the various services and you may find freelancers at either end of the scale, but there are several lucrative businesses that are conducted from home. Hourly rates can range anywhere from USD$3 per hour to USD$100 per hour. Some projects are salary based, others are project based.
The fact is that freelancers aren’t out here making a career out of being broke (that's the tea).
Myth #4 - Anybody can do this
Fact: Wrong! This type of working situation is definitely not for everyone.
How disciplined are you? Do you have all the necessary tools, software and skills at your disposal at home to efficiently execute your tasks? What are your at-home distractions like? Do you have a comfortable designated workspace? How great are you at sticking to a schedule without being supervised? How mature are you to take corrections from persons you have never met, and have your services be picked apart by those who pay you? Can you say no to those who want to “hang out” at their convenience because they (must) have less free time than you do because you “work” from home? How strong are you to handle the critics who made this article necessary in the first place?
It’s all relative and it is definitely not for everyone.
Myth #5 - You’re accountable to no one
Fact: Sorry, wrong again. On the contrary, there are several software and apps created for the sole purpose of tracking remote workers. These include features such as randomized screenshots, keyboard input pop-up reminders that sense whenever freelancers are visiting non-work-related sites and mouse click trackers. A properly monitored freelancer is held to a high standard of accountability and is only paid for proven work hours. You can fake productivity in the workplace and still walk away with a salary (we’ve all done it) but you are less likely to get away with that when you work remotely.
Myth #6 - It is easier than working in an office
Fact: There are aspects of remote working that are easier to deal with. This is true. However, to say that the overall experience is easier because you are not confined to a single designated work-space is incorrect.
Myth #7 - Limited to some jobs
Fact: There are very few professions that do not have a remote working model. The reasons are purely practical. For example, a surgeon won’t conduct open heart surgery from his bedroom and a mortician will need very specific tools to work with that aren’t ideal for the home.
However, technology has expanded the possibilities and globalized the market space. Accounts, Legal, Insurance, Marketing, Engineering, Journalism, Information Technology, Actuarial sciences, Education, Transportation , Customer Service, and Human Resource Management are but a few industries that you can work in from the comfort of your home.
Myth #8 - Working from home is a scam
Fact: Just as with every industry, there are unscrupulous individuals who try to take advantage of others interested in working remotely. The same amount of diligence that you would apply to research a physical company, is the same diligence that should be adopted here. There are some tell-tale signs to look out for and fail-safes that can be implemented, however, illegitimate freelance jobs are in the minority when compared to the countless jobs already available and those that are being made available every day.
The myths are many and they will probably always exist, but if you’re reading this article and you believed any of these myths listed, hopefully, I was able to offer you some fresh perspective. Everything in this life has been subjected to change. The face of the industrial age has changed many times over the years. Remote working is just one of these faces. Please think twice before you downplay the relevance or legitimacy of the work that freelancers do. You never know, you may need them some day.
"Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down."
-- Charles F. Kettering