Recently I have come across an article published on the UK daily paper The Telegraph, which listed down the 10 highest paid jobs you can do from home.
The list of course did not limit to 10 single jobs, but went on to giving ideas about alternative jobs as well. Before doing so, however, the article explained that the number of people that have had a change of career and opted for working from home has grown in recent years particularly after the economic recession that has hit the entire planet. Many people have lost their jobs in the last few years, less vacancies have become available to new work force, i.e. degree holders or school leavers, and other jobs are paid less than they used to, so as to making difficult for people who have had a career break for family commitment, i.e. us mums, to get back into a job that is no longer sustainable with the increased child care expenses.
All of the above has forced people to rethink their priorities, namely provide an income for themselves and their families, whilst trying to use their skills or newly acquired skills to reinvent their careers. The labour market have now started considering self-employed freelancing!!
What are the benefits of working from home
There are a few disadvantages to working from home, which I will outline later on, but these are immediately overcome by the benefits that start screaming at you from starters.
You are your own boss
Especially if you come from a corporate background, from a 9-5 job with bosses who have been on your case day in, day out in order to impress their bosses, you will immediately find out that you are going to be your own boss. You will decide how hard (or not) you want to push yourself, what your targets are going to be, how to reach them, which line of work to embrace. Yes, certainly when it comes to earnings, and especially at the beginning, you may feel pressurised by bills to pay, but think it that way: if you were unemployed, you are not going to make it worse for you by trying a new business avenue; if you were employed, and wanted to take a career break, or give your career a different direction, you would haven wise enough to have put some dollars aside before embracing that change in career, for the ‘rainy days’.
No more 9-5
You must be extremely self-disciplines, don’t get me wrong, as setting up your own business or making a living through freelancing, hence establishing your profile, is all hard work. But on the positive, you are not restricted to the 9-5 working hours. And this may be particularly of help if you have a young family to manage as well. So, if you are trying your hand at online business, you can start from as early as ‘crack-o-dawn’ knowing that you will need to get the kids ready for the school run at 830am.
But you can adjust your hours to your own convenience also if you are trying to establish your home-based job as a second source of income. In other words, you will find that you do not have to be glued up to a chair even when the work load is inexhistent as you have been paid to be there till 5pm. Or you will no longer need to ask your boss for longer lunch to go to an emergency dentist appointment. The magic word is FREEDOM!!!
More time with your family
People often end up believing that by working at home, you end up working less than if you were working in an office under the watchful eye of a manager. This could not be further from the true. In fact when working for yourself, you have t o be prepared, especially to start off with, to put as many hours as you can – hard working is the new motto here. But it is also true that, thanks to reduced commuting time and reorganisation of your working day and week, you can actually spend more and better time with your family.
I will never cease being grateful for always being in very good employments in my adult life, including when my son was born. Nevertheless, had I been more creative at the time to take the plunge and reduce my office hours to embrace freelance activities, I can’t help thinking that this would have enable me to spend a little bit longer with my baby, rather than seeing him only a few hours at the end of the day.
Working from home is healthier
Well, it is certainly healthier for your mental health. It has been proven that by reducing commuting, by not having to account constantly to someone higher up in managerial hierarchy, by not feeling stuck in a dis satisfactory 9-5 job situation, not only your stress levels reduce dramatically, but you end up becoming more productive. And that, I suspect, is due to the fact that you work (and you work hard, don’t get me wrong) for your ‘baby’, for your project, for which you end up feeling responsible, but which will also give you the utmost sense of fulfilment, once you have brought to conclusion successfully.
And success is also facilitated, when working from home, by the fact that you will make your working environment what is best suitable for you. You may want to have your dog sit next to you – which most working environments do not allow – or you may want to work in your pyjamas one day, as you woke up with an idea, which you don’t want to stop working at till it is established. In other words, whatever goes for you and whichever situation is better conducive to your working practice, it will be fine, as you are your own boss and nobody else.
Working from home requires determination
Naturally, it would be foolish of me to portray an absolute ‘hunky-dory’. What I’m about to outline are not necessarily disadvantage of working from home, but rather aspects you need to be prepared for when embracing home based jobs.
Working on your own
Working from home can become quite isolating. You no longer work as part of a team, you no longer sit at a desk surrounded by a group of other co-workers. But it is in fact likely that you will comfortably sit on your sofa, or even in bed, wearing your baggy track suit bottoms and slippers in an empty home after your partner has gone to work and the kids are at school.
If you enjoy the comradery and the banter of an office environment, you may need to source all that support from elsewhere whilst working from home, like from a support community or online forum, or through social media.
And the above point brings me nicely to the subject of self-discipline. I expect one of the most appealing aspects of working from home is that sense of freedom that you will never experience when working in a 9-5 office job, or a job based in a workshop, in a retail or academic or factory environment – only to mention but a few scenarios. But sometimes that freedom can be taken to extremes that can become counter-acting on productivity.
You need to be focused and motivated enough to ensure that you work the right amount of hours to make your home based venture financially viable. In other words, it doesn’t matter when and where, but if you don’t put the hours, especially initially when you need to establish your job or yourself as freelancer, then you will struggle to see the expected results. And again, it is all very good to work in your pyjamas, so long as it doesn’t give in to laziness and tendency to take longer and longer breaks to watch the weather forecast on telly, to then extend your break to a whole session of morning programs.
Indeed we are not working machines, and we must take breaks every so often. But it is recommendable that you go out for a brisk walk. It is deemed that you may get more creative ideas from 10 minutes walk than from 3 hours sitting at a desk.
It is also recommend per that you give a structure to your day, with feasible to-do lists, which you try to adhere to and tick off every time you complete a task.
Beware of quick earners
If you want to get rich quick, this is not the right avenue. In fact, if you do know of such possibility, please do let me know, as I am sceptical of any entrepreneurial proposal where you are promised fast earnings.
Working from home, and particularly when you end up establishing an online marketing / affiliate business, can become very profitable. But the start is always slow, and you must be prepared for low or no income to start off with. It will always take a relatively long time before you can start seeing the first earnings.
So, my advice – and I shall never tire to warn in this direction – is to beware of scams!!! You should never have to pay for basic access to job opportunities, but you should also be aware that it may take a while before you start making a regular living through working from home ventures.
Do let me know your thoughts with me about working from home. Do you work from home? What do you like most about home working? Would you recommend it, and why? Leave a message, share your experience.