Just because you can work from home doesn’t always mean you should. Let’s be honest, working from home has been romanticized into the solve-all solution for anyone facing employment troubles or childcare woes. It isn’t always the right fit. It definitely takes the right situation and the right person to be able to pull it off successfully. So if you are asking yourself the "Should I Work From Home?” question, consider these 10 reasons you should NOT before making a final decision.
- Less Sleep: The only thing that remains constant in life is the fact that there are only 24-hours in a day. The more you take on, the more hours you'll need. Daytime hours are typically full, so adding a home business, with its neediness and varying requirements, will usually take up some of your night hours. Basically, your going to be sleepy for awhile. However, building efficiencies and improving your work processes can give you back some of those lost ZZZZs.
- Brutal Compromise: Your nightly ritual may consist of enjoying a good book and hot beverage, but, more often than not, your home business will take that from you. Be prepared to compromise. When I started working out of the home, I had to ditch the TV, which I used to unwind from the day. I needed that time to work on my business. It was a painful sacrifice at first. But now, I don’t miss the TV at all.
- Added Expenses: You start a home business to make money. However, many people fail to realize how much money it takes to get a business going. Whether you seek outside financing or plan to fund your business out of your own pocket, plan on spending more than you think.
- No Benefits: In this day and age when employers subsidize health insurance, not having an employer can leave you feeling the brutal costs of private health and dental policies. It is also important to note, many private healthcare policies don’t offer much maternity coverage. You essentially need to pay cash if you plan on having any babies. On the brighter side, private insurance premiums can be a deduction on your business taxes.
- Less Socializing Opportunities: Working as a sole-proprietor is simply that – working solo. You may think you won’t miss the noisy co-workers or lackluster break-room birthday parties, but eventually you will. To help alleviate the isolation, consider joining networking groups or work from a coffee shop so that you can be around people.
- You Can Never Escape the Office: Where once your daily routine fit into nice little boxes of organized time, working from home makes time management a whole lot messier. No longer is there a “work” and “no work” time. Your work comes calling at all hours, which can keep you and your family at a frenetic pace. Setting strict work-life balance rules will keep you sane and offer you and your family the protection you may need from yourself.
- CEO/Accountant/CMO: With an employer-based job, you are typically in charge of one area. A home business gives you a whole lot more responsibility. You will need to learn how to do marketing, self-employment taxes, sales and operations. Some of these tasks you probably won’t enjoy, but they are necessary in a successful business.
- Strain On Your Family: Don’t kid yourself into thinking the decision to work from home is yours alone to make. It will affect the other tenets in your building – whatever age they may be. Mom or Dad’s new enterprise is going to create added stress and strain, at least in the early days. The kids may have to adapt to new schedules and new routines, which could include daycare or an in-home sitter. Be patient and include your family in the decision making process.
- Autonomy: Autonomy is a double-edged sword. Not having a boss is wonderful, but the new-found freedom of self-rule isn’t always an easy fit. With great power comes great responsibility. No one is going to get you up at 4:30 am so you can get your work done before the kids wake up at 7:00 am.
- Temptations Are Everywhere: Your home can be your haven, but it can also be a wily temptress. When working from home, things like unmade beds, TiVo’d shows, unfinished projects and a fully stocked kitchen can tempt you away from your work. Not to mention the biggest temptation, which is unmonitored Internet surfing. Consider time management skills and software to help you manage your work hours effectively.
If you aren't completely spooked about the whole work-from-home idea, consider these 10 reasons you SHOULD work from home.