Working from home is great. Not only do you get to set your own schedule (within reason; you do still have deadlines to meet, after all), but you also get to work in your pajamas and have no long commute.
That said, there are a few pitfalls to not having a job that requires you to leave your four walls. Here are a few of the major ones, as well as ways to overcome them.
Family and Friends
Even if your loved one’s support your work-at-home venture, by always being visible, they often think that you’re also available. This can put some pressure on you when you have a tight deadline to meet, yet family and friends keep calling or popping in.
The fix: When setting up your home business, also take the time to set up boundaries. Let everyone know how to tell when you’re working, as well as when you’re available and able to chat. This may require setting specific times where you’re not to be disturbed or making sure they understand that if your office door is closed, you’re busy and they need to come back.
Another pitfall of working from home is that there’s no one there pushing you, prodding you on to get your work done. Even if you are normally pretty self-disciplined, it’s not uncommon to experience days (weeks even) where you have to literally pry yourself off the couch or risk losing your at-home job.
The fix: Have pre-planned strategies for stoking your motivation when it starts running low. Some options to consider are doing a few jumping jacks to get the blood flowing again or dancing around the house to your favorite tunes. Come up with ways to put pep back into your step when all of your natural pep is gone.
Sometimes working from home can feel like you’re working from a prison cell. Worse yet, you don’t even have a guard coming around to check on you every hour. Though this may sound good at first—no pesky co-workers to contend with—over time, this type of social isolation can really take its toll.
The fix: Look for local groups you can join that will get you out of the house a day or two a week. If you’re into fitness, look into a fitness class at a nearby gym. And, no, joining something online doesn’t count. The whole point is to get you out of your house!
Being a Jack-of-All-Trades
If you own the business that you run out of your home, it’s likely that you are a jack-of-all-trades. This means, in addition to providing your specialized services, you also have to serve as your own bookkeeper, tax preparer, appointment scheduler, and much, much more. Certainly, taking this route does save you money. But it can also increase your risk of burnout.
The fix: Hire someone else to do all of the things you either aren’t good at or don’t enjoy doing. You may spend a little cash, but the payoff is more time in your schedule and more hours in the day to do the work that actually raises your income. In the end, the pros outweigh the cons.