by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
Most of us have considered the upsides to working from home, setting your own schedule, no commute, working in your favorite robe and slippers (if you so choose). But working at home has its downside, too. Working out of your house is no day in the park, it’s work and it can be tough.
The Downside to Flexibility
Flexibility doesn’t just mean that you get to take off when it’s sunny or spend an afternoon on a field trip. Flexibility in your working hours also means accomplishing the job, even when you’d rather not work. Sometimes being flexible requires long hours or spending a good chunk of your weekend finishing a project, with the reward being that you are available to chaperon that field trip after all.
Being the ‘no’ woman isn’t easy. When we work in a corporate environment, the boundaries are usually laid out for us. Company policies are in place to guide us and make our jobs easier. When we work at home, we are the ones to set and enforce those boundaries. Whether with our kids, our friends, our employers or clients, we must be willing to draw the line. If you can’t say no, working from home can quickly become an express train to the burnout zone.
Let the Results Speak for Themselves
Discipline and self-motivation are the foundation of any work-at-home career. If you work from your house, no one knows whether you are working hard, or hardly working, unless they are seeing results. To be successful you have to be driven to achieve above and beyond what is expected. A results-oriented attitude will ease the minds of concerned employers, who may be wondering just what it is you are doing in that home office.
Independence or Isolation?
What one working mother considers independence, another may view as isolation. After becoming a victim of corporate downsizing, a friend of mine decided to stay home for the summer. That summer ended in July at her house. She needed the time away from home during the day.
When it comes down to it, a home-based career can be deeply satisfying. I love the time I am able to share with my family, and the sense of accomplishment I have at the end of the day. Overcoming the challenges we face on the job makes each success that much sweeter.