Lots and lots of people want to work from home. Why? Well, when you consider getting up at an ungodly hour, blasting yourself awake in the shower, choking down a quick breakfast and flying out your door to do battle with traffic, it makes sense. People stuck in that rat race idolize working from home. It seems like a vacation to a tropical oasis where you lay on your couch in pajamas, take pleasant phone calls and everything goes smoothly because you’re in complete control of your environment. Right? Ha! Think again. Working from home is just like working anywhere else, but with a particular set of challenges all its own. Are you ready to face them?
Challenge #1: Your family will NOT let you work from home
You may think you’ll be so much more productive working from home. Ask yourself this one question: How productive am I when my family is home? Oh yeah. Those people. Your family, who you love dearly, will probably not let you complete any task while you are attempting to get work done. All the time that you think you’ll spend in glorious productivity will actually be spent trying to figure out how to get all of the laundry done. On top of that, you’ll need to find time to run the extra errands your family invents for you just because they know you’re “available.” Then there are sick kids. How much can you get done while cleaning up the stomach contents of your 7-year old? Your new set of coworkers may be even more of a detriment to your productivity than your old ones. In order to work from home effectively, you may have to threaten them. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Challenge #2: The blah feeling of being “stuck in the house”
Maybe right now you cannot imagine a day in which you’d ever be tired of being in your house away from the gum-snapper in the cubicle next to you, but trust me, that day is coming. More than anything, working from home confines you to spending lots of time by yourself. Don’t get me wrong; time alone is amazing, but after a while it gets old. You may find that you don’t want to spend hours a day with no one to talk to but the cat. If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself in the doldrums. When that happens, you’ll know it is time to get out among people and get some socialization. Who knew those annoying coworkers served some purpose after all?
Challenge #3: Lack of Inspiration
You probably haven’t pictured yourself as the moody artistic type looking for inspiration. Oddly enough, having lots of time to think will sap your inspiration slowly but surely. It isn’t as bad as it sounds – this is where a little socialization will help you. Expose yourself to new things. Get out, go to festivals, read new books. Make new friends. That constant flow of new energy will help you to replenish what you are putting out and keep the good ideas coming.
Don’t be mistaken, working from home is AMAZING, but it isn’t without its challenges. You just have to learn to kick butt in a different way. Once you do that, you’ll be ready to conquer the work at home world with a vengeance!
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