5 Common Obstacles to Working From Home

If you are someone who works in an office setting, but you know some people who work from home, there’s probably a part of you who secretly envies them. After all, it’s got to be pretty great to get up every morning, put on some sweats and do you work from the comforts of your own house.

However, before you consider making the transition yourself, there are a few things that you might want to think about before making the commitment. Although there are definitely a lot of benefits that come with working from home, there are also some common obstacles as well.

It requires a lot of self-discipline. When you work in an office space (outside of your house), there tends to be an atmosphere that encourages productivity. However, when you’re at home, you have your television and phone, not to mention chores to do around the house that can easily keep you distracted, if you’re not careful. You definitely have to focus on the work at hand, when working from home.

You don’t always have set hours. If you ask a lot of people who work from home if there is anything that they wish they had that office workers do, they would probably say “set hours”. When you work outside of the home, you tend to not be on a set schedule of more than eight hours a day and if you do work more, you get paid overtime. This isn’t always the case when working at the house. You can easily be at your computer for 10-12 hours (at least). There’s no time clock and often the work is contracted and so you have to remind yourself to take breaks.

Things can get lost in translation in email. No matter how well you write, people cannot read your tone of voice; therefore, it can make communicating with others a real challenge, at times. A wise man once said that 90 percent of communication is non-verbal and so when you’re at the office speaking to your supervisor or co-worker, you can read things like body language. You don’t have this privilege when working from home. (Although if things get too confusing, you can at least pick up a telephone.)

The opportunity for a promotion is limited. Say that you are a paralegal at a law firm or you are an electrician at ERH Power. There’s a pretty good chance that you have an opportunity to grow within the company. When you work from home, though, if you are “the boss”, there’s nothing that can really top that and if you aren’t, you usually were contracted to do a certain job and you probably won’t be asked to do anything else. So, if you’re someone who likes “climbing the ladder”, working from home may not be the ideal setting for you.

You handle your own taxes. This is definitely worth mentioning. When you work outside of the home, you usually have a job where taxes are oftentimes automatically taken out. When you run your own company or you are a freelancer, you are responsible for figuring out what you owe Uncle Sam. If you stay on top of this fact, you’ll do fine, but if you allow the paperwork to lapse, it can be a real nightmare. So, make sure to keep your tax info intact if you do decide to work at the house.

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