It’s no secret that working from home is very much sought after these days.
I get it. I’ve been working from home now for nearly a year and a half, and I can say that it has been both rewarding and challenging.
Without the commutes to and from work, my work-life balance has improved tremendously. My morning routine goes much more smoothly, and I am able to get more done during the day…most of the time.
But, there are several widely held beliefs about working from home that I quickly discovered aren’t quite as accurate as they appear to be.
Let’s start by keeping it real and debunking some of the myths associated with working from home. Before you make the leap, read on as I expose 5 of the most common misconceptions about working from home.
1. You Have Much More Flexibility In Your Schedule
Even though you’ll gain back time from not having to commute to and from work, you will still need to stick to some kind of daily schedule in order to get work done.
This is especially true if you work for an employer. Telecommuters typically have set hours just like their office-based counterparts, with scheduled breaks and lunches in between.
Some companies even have technology in place to ensure that you are “logged in” during work hours, and also to monitor your productivity while you’re working.
This misconception applies even more if you are self-employed. While it’s great that you get to set your own hours, you must have the discipline to stick to that schedule in order to be productive, keep your clients satisfied, earn a living, and maintain work-life balance.
2. You Don’t Have To Plan Ahead
When I started working from home, I would go into the week with no real plan in place.
Instead of having a relaxing, peaceful lunch break, I would spend my time figuring out what I was going to eat. I’d usually end up having to scarf down lunch because I ran out of time.
I also found myself cooking and cleaning almost everyday after work because I had no meal prep or cleaning routines in place for the week ahead. After all, I was at home, so I could just fit these tasks in during my day. Or so I thought.
My work-life balance became non-existent and I began to feel burned out and stressed. It was as if I had this irrational belief that working from home meant I didn’t need to be as disciplined and responsible with my time.
The opposite is actually true. When you don’t have someone else, i.e. a boss, demanding so much of your time, you are responsible for how you manage it.
When you work from home, it is even more important to have a plan and routines in place to avoid being unproductive. Try using a digital calendar or planner to help you plan for a successful work week.
3. You’ll Have A Distraction-Free Environment
From the coworker who lingers a bit too long at your desk sharing about their weekend getaway, to the last-minute mandatory meetings, getting actual work done in the office can be an exercise in futility.
But, what about the dishes in the sink and the pile of laundry? You’re home, so you might as well try to squeeze these tasks in while finishing up that work project, right? Not exactly.
Although it might seem convenient to tackle your household chores during the work day, the truth is that you are robbing yourself of work productivity that you’ll likely have to make up for later, possibly after work hours.
Also, let’s not forget about one of the most common distractions of our time: technology.
It’s easier to surf the Internet and scroll social media feeds at home because no one is watching. But, when your sneaky browsing causes you to miss deadlines and make mistakes, employers and clients start to notice and will quickly lose trust in you.
Be a woman of integrity and focus on work while you’re at work!
4. You’ll Prefer Working Alone
Unless you share a home with someone who also works from home, you’re likely alone during your workday.
While this may seem like an ideal situation to help you be more productive, the lack of face-to-face interaction can often feel very isolating.
I have struggled quite a bit with this since I started working from home. As a single woman with no children, I already spend quite a bit of time alone. When I lost the daily interaction with coworkers, I became even more isolated. I had to become intentional about staying in touch with people during the day and planning social activities after work.
If you’re someone who enjoys collaborating with coworkers on big projects, or meeting in the cafeteria for lunch, consider ways you can transition to a work from home job, while still satisfying your need for human connection.
5. There Aren’t Many Legit Work From Home Opportunities
Outside of telecommuting for a brick-and-mortar employer, you might assume most work from home jobs are scams with high upfront costs.
Make no mistake: there are a lot of scams out there! If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is why it is extremely important for you to research companies to determine if they are legitimate sources of income.
But, I can attest to the fact that there are genuine work from home opportunities out there for you to explore, whether you are looking to supplement your full-time income or to start a new career.
I will go into more detail about some of these later, but here are a few examples of legitimate work from home opportunities:
- At Home Customer Service Agent (Phone/ Email/ Chat) – as an employee or independent contractor
- Virtual Assistant
- Content Creator – e.g. YouTube
- Designer/ Creator – e.g. Etsy
- Freelance – e.g. Fiverr
- Online Teacher/ Tutor – e.g. VIPKID
- Tele-Health Agent – usually requires healthcare licensure or certification and experience
I hope you found this information helpful, and that you are able to make a more informed decision about working from home.
Are you currently working from home?
If so, which of the misconceptions above have you encountered? Let’s discuss below!