Deciding Whether or Not to Work from Home?

From a distance, your neighbor who trots to the mailbox in her robe looks as though she really got the sweet deal. Instead of scrambling children together in 15 minutes flat, she’s up cooking waffles and then drives her kids to school. More people have full-time employment from the comfort of their home and the numbers will continue to rise. However, before surrendering your two weeks’ notice, make sure you know all that’s involved and if this is what you want. 

The Workload 

Working from home does afford you plenty of benefits. However, there are a few drawbacks too. For instance, unlike your full-time job at the office, there might not be a regular weekly income. This can be good or bad, depending on the workload. In the freelance world nothing is ever a given. You may encounter a week where you can’t believe that amount you make and just like that the faucet turns off and you’re without work for a few weeks. 

Benefits 

When you work from home you don’t have to deal with a risky commute, or a boss leaning over you looking for your progress. However, in most cases, you won’t have a substantial benefits package that includes paid time off, sick days, medical and retirement. Some companies also offer complete dental plans, something that’s hard to find these days. Unfortunately, none of the above are part of your package when you work for yourself from home. 

Another benefit of working from home is the ability to maintain your income even if you have health issues that might prevent you from working a typical 9-5 job. For example, if you have problems with your feet, even with specialty shoes for plantar fasciitis, you might not want to commute downtown every day or work a job that requires you to stand on your feet for long hours. Working from home allows you to work, make a decent income and not aggravate your condition.

Dead End Job 

When you work from home you can take risks and venture outside your work comfort zone and try tasks you might never have considered before. It may not work out, or if can prove highly lucrative. The point is you were able to go for it. Whereas when you work for a boss, they delegate duties and you often become stagnant in the same job longer than necessary. Salary caps, reduced raises and more effort expected are things that turn people away from working for someone versus independently. 

The Appeal 

Some parents are simply tired of missing out on their child’s performances or having someone else basically raise their children. When you work from home you set a schedule. So unlike your boss who says he really needs you in the office until 6:00 P.M. to go over the figures, you can work around your schedule and start enjoying your family. In many larger companies, senior employees get to pick all of the best dates for vacations. This can leave you with a week in March and October. And, it’s not like anyone is going to switch. So you’re stuck with it. If you work for yourself and your sister’s 60th birthday is on the horizon and you can go. Your child’s dentist only has a 4:00 P.M. opening and you can go. These are the perks that come along with working from home. 

Is It a Good Fit? 

Unfortunately, working from home is not a good fit for everyone. You must possess certain qualities such as the ability to work independently, have built-in drive and ambition, be time-sensitive and know how to budget money. Without these skills, your ability to earn a decent income from home becomes greatly reduced. Additionally, you’ll be responsible for filing quarterly taxes. On the positive side, if you’re a self-starter, have good connections and are great at socking money away during the surplus months, it can be very rewarding.Making the decision to work from home is something to weigh carefully. List the pros and the cons and see if the benefits are worth the risks.

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