Many of us dream of working from home or owning a small business and being our own boss. Although saying goodbye to the nine-to-five world and offering a farewell to your supervisor can come with many challenges, it can also be very rewarding.
Telecommuting and other forms of offsite employment are growing in numbers, as one in five Americans are now working from home. While it’s not difficult to understand why most employees prefer to work from home rather than travel to the office, employers of telecommuters are actually pleased with the increased productivity as a result.
Take it from someone who works from home, it’s not all about sleeping late and doing your own thing. Although there can be some flexibility, more often than not, there are timelines that must be followed and deadlines to be met. Let’s look at some of the real advantages and pitfalls of leaving the traditional work environment:
Money Matters are a Vital Consideration
Leaving the office can sometimes mean the loss of a steady paycheck and other benefits such as medical insurance, profit sharing programs and paid time off — it depends on the situation and circumstances of your employment.
Being self-employed will find you paying your own income tax, but it also has you writing off expenses, a portion of your rent or mortgage, your internet connection costs and other work-related expenses. You will not be filling your gas tank nearly as often and buying as much clothing as you did before. Carefully consider your financial situation in its entirety before you take the leap from office to home.
Kids, Cats, Dogs and Other Distractions
While we initially see spending more time with our children and pets as a blessing, sometimes they can be a distraction. Even your neighborhood can become an invasive nuisance. For example, recently neighbors performed a complete remodel and the contractors were loudly buzz sawing and pounding on my last nerve for many weeks.
Being at home-based has nowhere near as much foot traffic and incoming calls as our office environment, people still knock on our door and ring the phone. Often in your own house you can choose to ignore the doorbell and let voice mail pick up the incoming message. But more advantageous, you can afford enough flexibility to run personal errands and pick the kids up from school.
MOTIVATIONAL MOMENTS and a loss of contact
Another downfall found working away from the office is a loss of the competition spirit we find with fellow employees. Some feel they lack motivation when working alone. Others may perceive the gossip and idle chit-chat at work as annoying while some miss interacting with their colleagues, casual acquaintances and work friends.
Going to the office is sometimes a great way of relieving stress at home and vice versa. You may feel trapped at home with no outlet. Make sure that you take some time for yourself and continue relationships with others outside the traditional workplace.
Do you have what it takes to be your own boss? Take the quiz below and find out if you are real entrepreneurial material or better off staying closer to the water cooler with your other work colleagues.
About the Author
As for the bio, how about something like this: Megan M. Ritter is a guest author and business journalist who teamed up with Gryffin to help design this infographic. In addition to contributing her research to infographics, she also enjoys writing about business telecommunications, personal finance, and media marketing.
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