Most people are under the impression that Work from Home is the best possible way to work and earn money because they think it is very easy. People see the convenience, the flexible timings, the absence of commuting and most of all, no boss or colleagues hovering about you all the time.
Although the possibility to work from home is quite advantageous, it is not all as rosy as it seems.
There are many myths that surround the concept of Work from Home and it is time we bust them!
Myth 1. It is not serious work
This is the biggest insult people working from home face. Friends and sometimes even family members feel that if you are working from home, it probably means your work is not that important.
Often, one person in the family works from home while the other goes out for work. Yet at the end of the day, it is assumed that the office-goer is more tired, needs entertainment and shouldn’t be expected to do much in the house; while the spouse that works from home must fulfil every responsibility as he/she has been at home all day and not faced any work or travel pressure.
Where you work, can’t and shouldn’t be a criterion to judge how important your job is. Every job is important no matter how big or small or where it is conducted.
Myth 2. You don’t earn much
Just because you don’t have to show up at office every day or clock in an adequate number of hours, most people assume that you might not be earning much out of your ‘Work from Home’ status.
It is illogical to assume such things as earnings depend on what you do and how well you do it; not where you do it from.
Myth 3. You can work whenever you want
Although it is true that freelancers, or people who work from their residence do have the freedom to choose their work timings, it does not mean that they can skip morning work on some days or work at 3am if they wish.
Projects do not happen in a vacuum. Even if one person is working from home, he/she may be dependent on several other people working elsewhere to get the job done. When you have to communicate with other people, exchange work related material or reply to phone calls and emails, it has to be done at specific hours that are convenient to everybody.
Myth 4. You have no boss or colleagues
‘No man is an island’ and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to professional life. Most people working from home do have a ‘boss’ or a higher authority to whom timely work must be submitted.
Many companies offer ‘Work from Home’ options depending on the employee’s personal situation or whereabouts. Even freelancers have to answer to clients and meet deadlines. They may not have a ‘boss’ in the conventional sense of the term but even they have to report to somebody.
Myth 5. You have no stress
There are various distractions at home like the television, telephones and doorbells ringing, noisy kids, other family members, a cosy bed, pets, servants, salesmen, guests and the like. Overcoming all these and pushing yourself to sit in one place and work is not as easy as it seems. Working from home needs far more discipline and focus than working in an office. In fact, there are many administrative and logistic hassles that are already taken care of at the office but have to be managed on your own at home.
Also, not having enough social interaction can stress you out or make you feel lonely. So although people who work from home can escape all the office politics, gossip and tiring commutes across the city; working alone can be bothersome as well.
Myth 6. You can have a lot of family time
Just because you are physically present at home does not mean that you can give all your time to your spouse, kids or for entertainment. If one actually did that, he/she would not be able to get any work done at all.
Work from Home blurs the line between your private and professional life and juggling the two without losing out on productivity or creativity is no easy task. You are essentially bringing work home and family members must understand that something that needs to be done at 10am cannot be pushed to 2pm just because you feel like it or because something else at home needs attention.
Myth 7. You don’t need to step out of the house
Even if you are an individual worker who is not a part of any organisation, you will still have to go out, meet potential clients or business partners, others from the same profession or people with whom you can build a team.
Someone who works from home cannot be stuck to the residence 24/7. In fact, while working in an office, people often come to meet with managers/employees at the office itself so the latter don’t have to get up and go anywhere. But individual professionals or freelancers have to get out of the house themselves for meetings or research.
There are is a large pool of talented professionals in society- artists, designers, writers, poets, painters, therapists, teachers, coders, photographers, entrepreneurs, accountants, investors, architects who have chosen to work from home and are doing a good job. We have no right to belittle anybody’s work or judge anyone’s choices.
If you know somebody who works from home, understand that they are performing a tough feat and respect their time and space.