Most people I know dream of being able to work from home. However, some people actually ask me, “is working from home worth it?”
you know, I actually REALLY respect those who ask a question like that. What I respect even more are those who are totally honest with themselves and realize that, for them, working from home is NOT worth it!
“How could working from home possibly not be worth it?” You ask.
Well, before I really started seeing success with my affiliate marketing business, I also dreamed of working from home. Some days, I still can’t believe that dream has actually become a reality. It was a life goal that I set and purposely worked towards, and I achieved it. Just the feeling of reaching my goal was worth all the effort.
However, now that I’ve been working from home for several years, I thought I’d shed some light on the positives AND negatives about working from home. While I think most people would enjoy working from home, that isn’t the case for everyone. I hope this article helps to open your eyes about the trade offs of working from home and whether it’s truly worth it in the end.
Why Working From Home Is Worth It
Before I cover the negatives, let’s get into why working from home is totally worth it. You have probably considered most of these benefits already, but I thought I’d write it from the perspective of someone who’s living the ‘work from home’ life. There are many benefits of working from home, but these are the benefits I find to be the most pleasurable.
I Sleep When I’m Tired And I Wake Up When My Body Wants
Not everyone has the luxury of working from home AND setting their own hours. Fortunately, I do. As an affiliate marketer, I can work when I want, where I want, as long as I want, take breaks when I want, etc. It’s an enormous amount of freedom.
But perhaps the absolute best thing about being able to set my own hours is I get to sleep in every… freakin’… day. If I feel like going to bed at 9pm, I can do that. If I feel like eating popcorn and watching movies until 4am, I do it. If I wake up and just feel like rolling over to go back to sleep, I do it.
I’m not trying to say I sleep excessively. Generally, a good 8 hours and I’m set. However, I haven’t had to wake up the the sound of an alarm clock in years. I also never have trouble falling asleep because if I’m not tired, I stay up. I basically just let my body tell me when it’s time to get some rest or wake up. There is little doubt in my mind that doing this has had an amazing impact on my health. I haven’t been sick in years and I always feel well rested. What a gift.
I Can Poop In My Own Bathroom
This one is pretty self explanatory and maybe a little gross (don’t judge me, everybody poops), but in the name of full disclosure and honesty, I must admit that having my own bathroom that I don’t have to share with co-workers is fantastic.
Back in my old sales job at CDW, it never failed. I didn’t have to go #2 at home, but as soon as I walked in the front door after finishing my morning coffee during the horrific Chicago traffic commute, it was time to go.
Off to the public bathroom where there are people constantly coming in and out (not to mention the toilet paper that seemed to be made out of sandpaper). No amount of courtesy flushes would make me feel comfortable in there. It got so bad that I found some obscure bathrooms that many of my co-workers didn’t know about. Even then, it was a challenge.
Those problems are history. I know it seems really petty, but sometimes it’s the little things that make working from home so great. Having access to your own fridge would be another example. It’s petty, but it’s actually really, really nice. Being able to use my own “throne” anytime I have to go is one of the perks I love.
No Boss Looking Over My Shoulder
Whether you’re working from home as a corporate employee with many bosses or working for yourself, you are always working for someone. It’s just nice when that someone isn’t around to watch your every move.
When I had my corporate sales job, I remember getting off of a sales call just to have my boss message me so I could come up and discuss all the mistakes I made on the last call he was listening in on. Ugh! I couldn’t stand that. I couldn’t even check sports scores without having to bypass filters and risk having my boss walk behind me and claim what I was doing was “time theft.”
You know the movie Office Space? That was basically my life.
These days, I take breaks when I feel like taking breaks. Heck, maybe I’ll take a break right now.
….And maybe I just did. Maybe I just got back from spending 3 hours at the beach. The point is, you don’t know and it doesn’t really matter. If I feel like taking a break, I take one. If I make a mistake, I fix it without being harassed by “my superiors.”
As I said, everyone always works for someone. As an affiliate marketer, I have lots of bosses ranging from my affiliate partners to Google (I depend on rankings from them) to you, yes YOU – my website visitor! However, there is something to be said about having your own space and freedom without bosses breathing down your neck, isn’t there? I’m glad you asked. Yes… yes there is.
I Get To Chill With My Dog All Day Long
I don’t have any human kids, so my kid is my dog. I hate leaving him at home for just a few hours, let alone 5 days per week for 8 to 10 hours per day. By working from home, I get to chill out with him by my side every day. It’s just the best thing ever. I’m more comfortable, my dog is more comfortable, and our bond has grown so much over the years we’ve spent together nearly 24/7.
If you’re actually a real parent with real kids, the benefits are 10 times better. Just think of the money that can be saved in daycare costs. Imagine being able to be available for your kids anytime and really watch your kids grow up. In an age where both mothers and fathers must work in order to make ends meet, at least one parent having the ability to work from home is an amazing advantage in life.
Why Working From Home Is NOT Worth It
Now that I’ve listed some of the biggest reasons I enjoy working from home, let’s talk about why working from home might not be worth it for some of you. Working from home certainly has its advantages, nobody can dispute that, but are those advantages better than the negatives? Only you can decide.
I Have No Structure In My Day-To-Day Life
With the freedom of being able to work whenever I want, I sometimes find it difficult to get motivated. I often say things like, “I don’t really HAVE to work today, maybe I’ll go for a hike with the dog instead.” Or, “I’ll do that later” and “later” turns into the next day. I might go onto YouTube to find a good video to embed onto an article, but then I’ll get sucked into watching videos for entertainment and waste a bunch of time.
In other words, when someone is working 8 to 5 and has 4 bosses watching them constantly, it’s a bit easier to stay focused and get things done. Without those checks and balances in place, I can easily get sidetracked.
Besides… think about it. You have ALLLL the distractions of home right by you. The television, the Xbox, the RC car you’ve been working on, or whatever. PLUS, once your friends and family members get wind of your work schedule, guess who they’ll call when they want to do something during the middle of the day on a Tuesday? “Hey! I got the day off. You feel like going fishing?”
Most people think they will have enough motivation to get more work done by working from home, but I’d venture to say in MOST cases, this just isn’t true. That’s why some major companies, including online companies like Yahoo!, have begun requiring people to physically be in the office instead of working virtually. People are simply more productive in a workplace environment in most cases.
My Work Life And Personal Life Have Merged Into One
With prior jobs, I would show up to work at my scheduled time and when I clocked out for the day, that was it. I got to sit on my ass the rest of the day (or weekend) and do whatever I wanted. Having the ability to work from home puts a big damper on that, at least for me. I never really take a day off anymore and just because it’s past 5pm, that doesn’t mean my workday is over. In fact, I probably work more than I ever have.
It’s sort of funny because it’s a catch-22. When you’re working, your TV and other distractions tend to pull you towards them. On the other hand, when you’re just trying to relax, your laptop and work begins to suck you back. It’s a constant game of yoyo.
I know some people who work from home that are very good at setting work hours and only working during those hours. I admire them for having that type of discipline, but I have yet to acquire that skill. Sometimes I work during the day, sometimes at night, sometimes I split it up, and suddenly my work/life balance has merged into just…. life.
That’s It. Those Are The Negatives
As I sit here writing this, I was planning on adding another 2 reasons why working from home isn’t worth it, but I’m REALLY struggling to do so. At this point, I’d really be reaching just for the sake of trying to make this article a little less bias. The truth is, I absolutely love working form home and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The shear freedom is just so awesome I don’t ever want to give it up. The only real stress I have from working from home is that some day I might have to return to an office building somewhere.
Is working form home worth it? Without a doubt. Sure, there are some negatives to working from home and it isn’t necessarily for everyone, but as someone who has been working from home for years, in my opinion, it’s worth every second of it.