Most people think that home-based jobs are a breeze. You get the convenience of working from the comfort of your own home and can make conference calls in your pajamas. However, working from home has its disadvantages. Here are just some of the pitfalls of having a telecommuting career.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is effectively managing your time. Your home is full of distractions. It can be difficult to stay focused on a task when you know you have a sink full of dirty dishes or a pile of laundry waiting to be folded. A job that may have taken you ten minutes to complete at the office may take you an hour to complete at home. When you work from home, it's more important than ever to create a realistic schedule and complete each project in the allotted time.
Lack of Boundaries
When you work from home, it's important to set boundaries. Often times it can be difficult to convince your spouse and kids that your job is as legitimate as an occupation that requires you to report to an off-site office. They may barge in on you with news from school while you're in the middle of a conference call. If teachers and PTA moms get wind of the fact that you work from home, they may sign you up to chaperon field trips or coordinate bake sales during working hours. As a stay at home employee, it can be difficult to get others to respect your profession and the fact that you need to put in a full day's work.
Telecommuting is very convenient, especially if you're a busy parent. Having the flexibility to work from home means that you can arrange your schedule so that you can pick up the kids from soccer practice or take the little ones to their yearly checkup. However, this convenience comes with a price. Generally speaking, telecommuting jobs pay significantly less than other jobs. The demand for legitimate work at home jobs is so high that companies have their pick of qualified applicants. Because of this, employers can afford to offer future employees less competitive pay. More often than not, if you work from home, you are working as an independent contractor. Independent contractors are usually paid hourly or by the piece and don't have the benefits of sick pay or employee sponsored health insurance.
If you're a busy mom, work may be the one opportunity you have to interact with adults. Not having a group of co-workers around to share your day with is one of the biggest drawbacks of home-based jobs. It's easy to feel isolated and alone when you spend your entire day cooped up in your home office sitting in front of a computer screen. You may enjoy the freedom of working independently, but miss the companionship of your colleagues.