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Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Dreams and Realities of Working at Home


Just imagine... No more crowded buses, No more traffic jams, No more suits and ties, high heels, dull meetings or office politics. Just you and your computer. Alone, all day.

If this sounds idyllic, read this before you rush out and quit your job. I hope this dispels a few myths about working at home.

The Dream:
Extra time to spend with family, exercising, or recreation.

The Reality:
While you won't spend time commuting, you probably will spend more time working all hours of the day and night. Be sure to set regular hours. Separate work time from home time.

The Dream:
You are invisible to clients over the phone and on the computer.

The Reality:
It is true that you can't be seen and can lounge around in the buff if you want. The fact remains, you need to maintain a professional demeanor, that is difficult if you are in your bathrobe.

The Dream:
No more office politics.

The Reality:
It gets lonely home all day by yourself. You may have a pet to talk to, but that probably isn't very rewarding. Try to set a certain time of the day to get out. Go get a coffee, meet clients, go to the gym.

The Dream:
Quiet time, so you can get some work done.

The Reality:
Sometimes, it gets too quiet( see previous entry), and other times the phone keeps ringing with sales calls, or someone knocks on the door trying to convince you to change your cable provider.

The Dream:
You don't have a boss looking over your shoulder all day.

The Reality:
Look in the Mirror. You are the Boss. It takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to push yourself to make sure the work at hand gets done. Being the boss means taking on all the responsibility.

The Dream:
No more sharing office supplies.

The Reality:
No more sharing office supplies, printers, copiers, fax machines, not to mention a computer. There is no IT guy to fall back on, it's up to you if your system crashes. Make sure you have good equipment, with a good support system.

The Dream:
Tax write-off's.

The Reality:
This isn't too far fetched. You will get to deduct some office space, equipment and services. This depends on the area in which you live. In this area, we need to pay an Estimated Tax on what we feel we should earn, and the deductions go against your next filing (which still has to be paid in advance).

Don't let any of this dissuade you from starting your own Work at Home Business, these are just a few things to let you know what you may be up against in your quest. I, personally, feel the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks in owning your own business.


Some related posts I have written:
Work at Home Pitfalls
Working at Home, More Popular that Ever
Snapshot of Working at Home
Working at Home...Easy?

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Good Luck in YOUR Endeavors


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