5 Myths about Working from Home

Work-Life Balance on 08.05.11
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I love working from home, but probably not for the reasons you'd think. I don't get loads of laundry done, take leisurely lunches, and work in my pajamas like many people think working from home entails. But I think I'm more productive and actually worry about having to someday go work in an office where hours are consumed with water cooler talk. There are a lot of great things about working from home but despite what many people think, the following are all myths about the scenario.

You Won't Need Childcare- It seems like a no brainer. If you're home there is no need to hire someone else to watch your kids, right? Wrong! It only takes one toddler banging their fingers on your computer and deleting an hour's worth of work to realize that they are not helpful to have around while working. Never mind the idea of having a clear thought when you are listening to "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Mom." Unless you can limit your work hours to the kids nap times, it is hard to work efficiently while they are around. At minimum, you'll need a mother's helper to keep them entertained while you're on a conference call. I have my youngest in half-day daycare and then she comes home for a nap while I work for the afternoon. When she stops napping, it's going to have to be all-day care.

You'll get More House Work Done- The problem with doing house work when you're working from home is that then you aren't actually doing the work you are supposed to be doing. When you work from home, you have to be prepared during work hours to turn blinders on to the chores that need to be accomplished. Other than putting my dishes in the dishwasher after lunch, nothing else gets touched if I want to get my work done.

You Can Work in Your Pajamas- I suppose technically you could work in your pajamas, but I still have to get my kids to daycare which means I have to get up and get dressed every morning. I certainly don't dress up for work unless I have a meeting, but I'm not lounging around in my pajamas all day. Plus, it's better to get dressed with the rest of the family than having to cut out of work early to get dressed before you have to leave the house.

You'll be Able to Meet Your Friends for Lunch- Oh, with my flexible schedule I can meet anyone any time I want. In my dreams! While I can arrange for the occasional lunch out, it's usually to network and not to catch up on the latest gossip with my friends. The fact is that you probably aren't going to be any less busy working from home so if you didn't have time to take leisurely lunches when you were in an office, you probably aren't going to have the time to do it at home either.

You Can Write Off Lots of House Expenses- While it's true that you can write off some of your home expenses such as your internet connection if you need it to work, you aren't going to be writing off all of your utility bills. You have to have a clearly dedicated room that is an office to be able to write off a portion of your more hefty expenses, and your kitchen table doesn't count.  

 

If you want to work from home, I say go for it. There are lots of benefits, but be aware that they may not be what you think.

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