In previous articles in this series, I addressed various pros and cons of working from home, primarily the social and financial aspects, based on my experience over the last seven-plus year. Today I address the issue of flexibility. Working from home isn’t for everyone, but it’s been a blessing for me and my family.
No drive to work means more time doing what I want to do. I have no set office hours. I can work evenings, weekends, whenever—as long as I hit my deadlines and keep the checks coming.
Cons: No vacation days. No paid holidays. No sick days. If something doesn’t work right on my computer, I don’t have an IT department to run to. Because my office is so close, I sometimes may find myself putting in time during evenings and weekends, even when I don’t want to. Self-discipline is necessary to separate “work hours” from “home hours.”
Working for a boss at his determined location and hours has its benefits, mainly a set schedule. Work begins and ends. Working from home shatters that structure, and some may struggle to unplug. The solution? Set your own work schedule and stick to it. For example, make a rule never to work on Sunday.
Pros: If you want to take a day off and find a break between deadlines, go for it. Or push your work aside, take a half-hour walk, and then get back to work. There’s no boss cracking the whip—just you deciding whether you’re going to be productive and make some money.
I’m not locked into any geographic location. If my family ever moves, I can truly take the job with me as long as I have Internet access and e-mail (what would I have done twenty years ago?). With this type of job, I can virtually live anywhere I want.
If you want to work in your pj’s, there’s nobody telling you you can’t. Go for it.
There’s no office politics, no required company events, no dependence on whether a company sinks or floats, no fear of getting stuck with a house to sell if your company goes bankrupt or if you get laid off. If your child needs to go to the doctor, you don’t need permission to take time off.
If I’m ahead on my deadlines and income, I can work on the next novel.
So, you see, working at home is a different planet from working for a boss at a set location. Is it right for you? For me and my family at this time in my life, it’s perfect. I never want to go back.
- Priorities and Possibilities in 2014
- Write Events in Their Logical Order