Myths and Advantages Associated with Telecommuting
While it may seem like a dream, working from home is not always the best solution for all of us.
If you’re an aspiring writer and are thinking about quitting your day job and working from home (pursuing some other telecommute job), you need to ask yourself a hard question:
Do you have the discipline to remain focused enough to complete deadlines and maintain a high level of productivity?
In addition to being disciplined, telecommuting has some challenges — but it can also be a perfect solution for many!
Here are some myths and advantages to consider:
Some people think that a work-at-home job is the best thing for parents. While many parents figure out ways to make this work, it is difficult for some to telecommute when they have small children at home.
If your children are very young, you won’t get much uninterrupted time to work. Even if your kids are school-aged, you or someone will need to oversee their activities unless you want them parked in front of the TV or video games whenever they are not in school. Before you jump to the conclusion that working from home is a perfect solution as a parent, think twice if your kids aren’t in full-day school yet. You’ll need to arrange for in-home care or take them somewhere for care.
With a telecommuting job, you may think you have the ability to work when you want. While this is true in some telecommuting jobs, in most you’ll be expected to participate in conference calls and virtual meetings, be available for team members or clients to reach you, and be prepared to respond to last minute, urgent assignments — all during normal business hours.
In many work-at-home jobs, you won’t receive a salary and benefits comparable to a non-telecommute job. Many 100% telecommute jobs are contract based, meaning they aren’t long-term positions and you may find yourself unemployed between contracts.
You’re also responsible for paying for and maintaining all of your home office equipment. One perk of this is that these expenses can be tax deductible, but you must keep excellent records and receipts and fully understand what is and what isn’t tax deductible. And lastly, you also will need to arrange for your health insurance and retirement planning. That being said, if your spouse receives employee benefits, a contract position may offer the perfect amount of flexibility.
With a telecommuting job, you don’t have to commute to an office, which saves on commuting costs such as gas, parking or public transportation. You also don’t need to spend a lot of money on an office wardrobe — you really can work in your pajamas, although that’s not recommended! The most successful telecommuters get up at a normal time and get dressed right away. However, with the time you save not commuting, you’ll have more time to spend with your family – being able to take your dog for a walk or meet your kids after school is a pretty nice perk!
If you are working for a company from your home, you may be able to get away from the office politics, but you have to still communicate with your supervisor or manager. Most of your contact is through email and telephone. This could result in misunderstandings and miscommunications. It can be beneficial to have a weekly call with your boss, or even more often, to make sure you address any misunderstandings before they snowball.
It can be if you can be prepared to handle the challenges of working from home all of the time. For some, the peace and quiet allows them to get a lot done, but for some, working from home 100% of the time can be a little lonely.
In addition, the laundry pile, the TV, the refrigerator, social media, your chatty neighbor — they can all cut into your productivity. The most successful telecommuters treat their jobs just as if they go to an office — they get up, get dressed, plan their day, minimize distractions and have the discipline to stay focused.
Do you work from home? Any tips you want to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegdovin/7543594140/