Being your own boss and/or working from your home office sounds awesome, and in many ways it is, but it can definitely suck too! Yes, it’s true, there are a TON of advantages of the work at home lifestyle, but you rarely hear anyone talk about the disadvantages. Well, I am here to tell you that there are some things that might just make you crazy if you plan to start your own home business or telecommute for your job.
1) You Are Basically Always at Work
Okay, so, in an office setting or most “regular” jobs, you have a time you start work and time you stop to go home. Even if you are working late, or you tend to be an overachiever, you still have some sort of structure to your work hours.
However, when you work at home, you are pretty much always working. There is no separation between work time and home life. Even if you try to set some sort of regular schedule for yourself, it’s WAY too easy to jump on the computer “real quick” when you think of some business or something else you could still get done today.
Even when you are hanging out with your spouse, or watching the game on the weekends, or even in bed, you will still have your laptop or tablet sitting nearby to get some work done. It becomes a never-ending work day that is very difficult to turn off. For example; it’s about 11:30 on a Friday night and I’m sitting here writing this post from my home office!
2) Dressing Up Becomes a Chore
When you head out of the house every day to an office environment, you have to dress to impress. Even at jobs that are very lax on a dress code, you usually at least have to put on something halfway decent. The issue with a work from home situation is that you don’t have a dress code of any kind whatsoever.
So, without even realizing it, you slowly begin putting less and less effort into your wardrobe. Eventually you look in the mirror and realize that homeless people dress better than you! Then, when you do have to dress up for any reason, it feels like the end of the world.
3) You Forget How to Socialize with Real Life People
You might of hated having co-workers in your past careers, but after being alone in your home office for a while, you will probably miss those same people that annoyed you before. Your social skills will begin to diminish. You forget what a real conversation is like. They used to call you the life of the party but now you can’t go anywhere without anxiety!
4) Your Pets Become Your ACTUAL Best Friends
They say dogs are “man’s best friend” but that may become more of a reality than you ever imagined after sitting in front of your computer all alone for days on end. Your pets become your only interaction with anything that is alive and you begin to speak with them as if they are humans. They become your best (and only) friends. You might put a whole new meaning to the definition of a crazy cat lady!
5) Your Lunch Breaks are a Disaster – If They Even Exist
You are the boss of your work schedule which unfortunately means you are also in charge of your lunch time. In a normal work setting you will have a lunch time and probably people to go to lunch with, or at the very least someone to remind you it’s lunch time that you sit with in the break room while you eat. Instead, as a work at home business professional, you end up eating last nights leftovers while sitting at your desk for a 10 minute makeshift lunch that isn’t a break at all – and that’s if you even take one. There’s a good chance you will forget about it altogether.
6) Your After Work Drinks Aren’t So Cool Anymore
It’s normally quite acceptable to go somewhere after work to grab a drink with some of your friends or coworkers. Except when you work from home this typically means you walk about 20 feet to the kitchen and start drinking alone. This will inevitably make you start listening to George Thorogood in order to justify your actions.
7) You Will Never Have a Snow Day or Office Party Ever Again
Yes, it’s rare, but if you live in the right state, you will actually get an occasional snow day at a regular job if the roads are bad enough. Well, those days are long gone when you work at home. There really isn’t much of a weather excuse you can use for not being able to walk into the next room to your home office or sit on the couch with your computer. And let’s not forget about all those fun stories and pictures you see of all your friends at their office parties. You are now a party of one and no longer have those shindigs to look forward to.
8) It’s Only a Matter of Time Before Your Neighbors Start Worrying About You
You might not know it yet, but you are that “crazy” person that all the neighbor kids are afraid of! You might even be nothing more than a ghost or mythical legend. There are stories being told all around the neighborhood about you and they are growing more ridiculous every day. Nobody ever sees you except on that rare occasion when you actually do leave the house, and even then nobody believes you are a real person. Halloween is now the only holiday worth celebrating for you.
9) You Eventually Forget the Last Time You Saw Sunshine or Had Fresh Air
At some point you realize it has been so long since you felt the sun on your skin or had a breath of fresh air that you aren’t even sure if you are alive anymore. You might just be a zombie!
10) Everyone Assumes You Aren’t Busy
All humor aside, I must say this one drives me nuts more than anything! You will quickly find out that just because you are working from home nobody thinks you are doing anything and they will not respect your time. Oh, it’s moving day and we need help… Why not ask the person that works at home? Obviously they have nothing else to do. Need someone to chat with? Might as well call me, I’m not busy. Oh wait. Actually I’m working my ass off way more hours than anyone I know, but since I’m at home that must mean I’m doing nothing. UGH!
Anyway, those are 10 struggles you have to deal with in the work from home lifestyle. I kept it light with humor but they really are things that suck about WAH. Is it worth it? Yes, I think it is! If you have the chance to be your own boss, start a home business, or just telecommute from a regular job then I highly recommend doing so. But it’s not always as great as many people make it sound. There are certainly a lot of advantages to it but there some disadvantages as well. The key is for you to decide if the positives outweigh the negatives, or not. I’ve found they almost always do for most people.