A lot of people have a dream to be able to work from home, but not many actually understand that working from home does not just mean a free pass to do anything you want when you want or that you will be able to manage not being in a traditional office setting. Here are some myths about working from home.
Myth #1: You can always do what you want/you don't have to follow a schedule
This is one of the biggest misconceptions of working for yourself. Though you may love the idea of just leaving your home office and disappearing for 6 hours, if you work for an employer, they have work schedules like you would if you were in an office and if you work for yourself, if you intend to make profits and grow your business, you have to apply some sort of structure to your work day in order to get all that you need done to satisfy the clients who employ you.
Myth #2: You don't have to deal with anyone/other employees
If you work for yourself, you have to deal with clients. Just as in an office or business not all of them are awesome to work with. Sure you may have more of an option not to work with them, but if they are a high paying client, you might not be able to just walk away, especially if they can bring in more business for you or help your reputation. You may also have a small staff or other remote employees that you work with on your team.
Myth #3: You don't have to work that many hours
This is especially a myth if you work entirely by yourself or have a small company. Unlike in a traditional business, there is literally no one else to fall back on. If something needs doing, the person that needs to do it is you or your small staff whether that be at 7am, 4pm, or 1am. Also with online businesses, there is often no such thing as a 9-5 job because the internet never sleeps. Your birthday, holidays, you being sick---work and the world keeps going non-stop. Clients may be messaging you late at night or early in the morning needing something changed immediately or and they expect you to do it.
Myth #4 It's awesome to be by yourself working
Working for yourself, all you ever wake up to is your office with no one in it but you unless you happen to work with a few employees or you have a significant other who also works from home that you see more than just when they get off work. In the middle of the day, you can't really call up a buddy to come hang out or discuss the latest binge worthy tv program on a lunch break. A lot of people can't or don't want to work like this because they feel they miss out on a lot not having daily interactions with other employees or the benefits of things like after work drinks or company events to go to.
Myth #5: You have fewer responsibilities, burdens, and stress
Work is work! Much like a kid graduating to the adult world, working from home can be an eye opening experience in how responsible you must be in regards to your job and the maintenance of it. If you work for yourself, you are solely responsible for filing your personal and business taxes, keeping up with receipts, filing business paperwork, paying any fees associated with your business, waking up on time, keeping to your meeting schedules with clients/dealing with them, and for the burden of the business when it's not doing well. This can be stressful and confusing to those just getting started or dealing with a business on the rocks, and again, you are the only one responsible for making sure things are working out in your favor.
Myth #6: You have endless time to hang out with friends and family
Ironically working from home can sometimes be isolating from family even if you live with them. Anyone with kids knows how hard it is to complete simple tasks let alone complete a work assignment with kids clamoring for attention and dogs and the postman ringing the door bell. You might physically be at home, but mentally you might as well be in an office a million miles away in order to do what you need to do, and that often means sending friends away or instructing family members to shut the door behind them so you can get your work done.
Myth #7: You have great work/life balance
Most people in traditional office settings have a set boundary between the part of them that is work and things like family and their social life. They clock out, they're done for the day, and they walk way. Often what happens when you work from home is there is no shut-off valve. Five o'clock rolls around and so what. No ones shutting off the lights or locking up the garage on you. Where are you going to go? Your office is in your house. Business deals are still going on, on your phone or through your website and it can become an addiction to keep working and keep pushing sometimes to the point of severe exhaustion or at the cost of your family or social life to accomplish your business goals or keep your business afloat.
Myth #8: Everybody can work from home
Definite myth. If you're the type that barely makes it in to a traditional office on time and frequently fails at work tasks, working from home is probably not going to solve issues with your work ethics. Working from home requires the same caliber of hard work you'd find within any office with a great team of employees. If your dream is to work from home so you can essentially screw around all day, bottom line, you're not going to be successful working remotely and definitely not entirely for yourself.