What is the reality of working from home? What are the benefits of working remotely? A few months ago I wrote about the benefits, and disadvantages, of telecommuting. Indeed telecommuting could be a compromise between the fear of working from home on a self employed basis, and the disadvantages of having to go to a work place, such as an office, when you work for an employer.
Recently, though, I have had the opportunity to see with my own eyes what is the reality of working from home when still employed in a corporate environment. What I witnessed was a real eye opener, and what I have discovered I would like to share with you today.
When The Beast From The East Hit UK
The UK based of you will remember the wintry weather we had a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it was the beginning of March, but the whole of UK – like the rest of Europe on the other hand – was being hit by the ‘Beast From The East’, or rather by a wave of snowy conditions that plummeted this country to -0C temperatures.
As per usual when we have snow in UK, or at least in the southern part of the country, roads and public transport come to a stand-still. It really feels as if this country had never seen snow before. Schools shut down, and commuters have to add hours to their daily travels to work and back.
The long and short of it is that my husband, who normally commutes to London to work, was allowed to work from home for the whole week.
This was brilliant news!!! That meant that not only he would be spared the painful journey to and from work, but he would not fall behind schedule with his projects.
This also meant that, should the roads or train runs prevent him from getting to work altogether, he did not have to take time off.
But, the reality of it was quite different. And I witnessed it immediately from the first day.
The Harsh Reality Of Working Remotely
My husband was literally on his laptop, working uninterruptedly from 8am till 7pm for virtually the whole week. He was either on the phone or on Skype talking to his colleagues or with his boss. He was on conference call several times. By his own admission, he was working harder than when he was in the office!
As he explained to me, now he was at home, he felt he had to prove he was not taking it easy. He worried his bosses may think he may sit in front of the telly soaking up in day tv programs, or (perish the thought!!) he may have taken the dog out for his morning walk.
No, my husband is not the most conscientious of workers. He likes what he does, but he is no workaholic at all.
Not only that, but I could see there a concerted effort by everybody to declare their transparency in making themselves available for the entire day.
I also realised the logistic need to keep communication flowing through email exchanges, as it would not have been necessary, had the whole team be sitting and working under the same roof.
Are There Any Benefits Of Working From Home?
You may be thinking that a work-at-home situation may only appeal to an older person, who has lost the enthusiasm and the appeal to be part of the more ambitious corporate world. You may be thinking working from home may be more suited to people with disability, as it may avoid them leaving the more comfortable domestic environment specifically designed in aid of their disabiltiy.
You may be thinking that working at home is the answer to the problem that many young families face of increasing child care costs. But when picturing yourself away from the office comradic athmosphere, having to stay at home and trying to do some work whilst at the same time managing child care for crying babies or noisy toddlers, that’s when temptation takes the best of you and you vouch never in a million years to have a family!!!
Some associate working from home with the following stereotypical images:
- getting lazier
- no more work related social life
- starting neglecting own appearance
- starting putting on weight
- becoming progressively unproductive
- missing out in real regular earnings
- loosing touch with clients
- getting depressed
- in reality, lack of own time
I expect these are only a few of the fears that people perceve when mentioned the opportunity of working from home. And that is why they’d rather work in an office, or remotely when given the opportunity – so long as it’s only for a time-limited period.
Real Expectations Of Working From Home
In reality what I have outlined above are what people most fear when contemplating working from home. We are all – or most of us at least are – so used to working for others, that we end up creating the wrong goals for our well being.
When starting working from home, these are the advantages you are to expect to benefit from:
- being completely independent to manage your own time
- manage your own workload
- work at something you are really passionate about
- set your own targets
- be able to use your own creativity – even when you think that you are the least creative person in the world!
- set your own monetary goals
- use your time to your own advantage
- work for your own benefit, rather than for an abstract and intangible entity
Wow, these are bold statements, you will tell me. But they are entirely feasible when you work at home to create your own business.
What would be the point of working from home, if you still had to wake up at crack o’ dawn to drag yourself out of the house to go to work with very little motivation, other than a salary at the end of the month?
My motto is: aim high if you want to reach high.
Ok, I agree, working remotely is a middle ground solution, which I would have embraced wholly if I had been given the opportunity when my son was younger and I had to negotiate working life with child care and family life.
The same could be said if you were given the opportunity to work remotely, whilst caring for an older relative.
Yet, it has been proven to me that, when working remotely, you life is barely made easier. You may avoid commuting. But you are still trapped in the constrictions and obligations and limitation of your 9 to 5 job. In fact it appears that employees find themselves having to be more accountable when working remotely than when physically at work.
The absolute freedom and flexibility of approach to your work, I believe you can only achieve when you build your own business at home.
It’s the only and one opportunity to enable us to work towards and achieve the expectations and goals I mentioned above.
The reason why I call those expectations realistic is because they are perfectly achievable when you are self-employed, working from home for your own business.
Nothing better than being your own boss, right?!?!?!
By this, I certainly do not mean you should drop the certainty of a secure salary at the end of the month. We all have financial obligations in a way or another: rent or mortgage to pay, student loans, credit cards, children fees (nursery or university), holidays or travels to visit family. The list can really be endless.
And the transition from being a employee to becoming a home based entrepreneur is not going to happen overnight. It is going to be the fruit of hard work and determination.
The ultimate goal achievable is never going to be a negotiation middle ground position of working from home, but still having your boss ‘breathing on your neck’ for you to meet those deadlines, or being limited by the constrictions of a 9-5 (or 9-7!!) Monday-Friday work pattern.
What we can achieve as a self-employed home based entrepreneurs is the ABSOLUTE FREEDOM and FLEXIBILITY that puts us really in charge of our own destiny!
My #1 Choice
Am I being a little vague here? Please allow me to explain.
You all should know my story by now. After so much searching for a successful way to start off my own online business, two years ago I came across an online learning platform, where not only I found out how to build my own website as a starting poing to launch and support my business, but I also I am referring to is the non-plus-ultra of home based business and learning platform for a proven successful formula for passive income.
Click on the above picture to find out more about how it works. I promise you, you will never look back!!!
And of course, do leave your comment below, if you have any good or bad experience of remote working. Tell us whether you are regularly allowed to work from home, and how it has changed your quality of life. Or, indeed, do let us us know if you are a home based entrepreneur and whether this has been the right career choice for you. I shall reply to each and every of you as soon as I possibly can 🙂