Working From Home: Fantasy Versus Reality
Working from home can seem like a fantasy if you’re bound to a cubicle in a nine-to-five job. Although it can be extremely satisfying to own your own business, anyone who works from home can tell you that wearing stained sweatpants and eating handfuls of cereal for lunch is hardly glamorous.
There are clear benefits and drawbacks to working from a home office. Here are some of the most common “fantasy” misconceptions about working at home – as written from a very messy kitchen table.
YOU CAN WORK IN YOUR PAJAMAS ALL DAY
Reality: Although we can indeed work in our pajamas all day, that fact doesn’t take into account that we may still be in the pajamas that we went to bed in the night before. The reality is that we work with travel suppliers and clients who can often be in different time zones, which results in working late into the night and in the wee hours of the morning.
YOU DON’T HAVE A REAL JOB.
The perception is that working from home means you can run errands and do favors for friends and family, like watching their kids, picking up their prescriptions and driving them to the airport. Reality: We don’t have time for any of that. Why? First of all, we don’t work for Uber. We have real clients with deadlines, monthly goals and conference calls – and we actually have business cards and LinkedIn profiles to prove it.
YOU SAVE MONEY
Yes, working from home does translate into saving money on things like gas, car maintenance and wardrobes. It’s more convenient, and it can eliminate commuting stress.
Reality: There are myriad other costs that you incur since you can no longer simply obtain such items as paperclips, ink jet cartridges and pens from the office supply cabinet. And what happened to the janitor who cleaned up your mess – or the tech support team who solved your computer problems?
YOU CAN CLOCK OUT WHENEVER YOU WANT
Reality: You actually never really do clock out. Although you can hit the snooze button occasionally, there are no set work hours because all hours are work hours. We work where we live, and so every moment feels like a moment we could or should be working. The best thing about working in an office is that you can leave it. When working at home, there’s always an urge to wrap up an unfinished project or get a head start on the following day’s work.
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A version of this article appears in print in the June 2016 issue of Agent@Home Magazine.
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