– or why adjusting to working from home isn’t easy
You’ve always dreamed of working from home?
To shake off the life of a cubicle rat and to be the most productive at-home worker in the history of at-home workers?
Yeah, it’s not that easy.
Sure, there are perks to being able to work take a 30-second commute to your office each day, but there are some serious downsides to it.
And you’re not fully clued into these then your dream of working remotely could turn into a nightmare.
In no particular order, here my x worst things about working from home that nobody tells you.
1. Lack of Routine
Yes, I know you hate the 9 – 5 routine you’re in right now with every fiber of your being. But it serves a purpose.
Well because it keeps you focused on what you need to get done i.e. you have to be at work at a certain time and then leave work when they shut up shop for the day.
Working out of a home office means you have no routine, and this can kill your dream stone dead early on.
Want to stay up till 2am binging on Netflix or Call of Duty?
Go for it.
You can sleep in tomorrow and make up the hours later that day…right?
But then you sleep in, and decide you want to have coffee and walk the dog before you sit down and really start your day.
Congratulations – you have just entered the death spiral of working longer hours than your 9 to 5 and feeling constantly stressed because you’re always behind schedule.
Any routine is better than none at all.
2. You Are Always In Work
You do know that most solopreneurs work more hours (at least initially) than they did in their regular job, right?
That whole thing of “…working 3-4 hours a day and making a full-time income”…yeah that’s a pile of horse shit.
There are plenty of courses out there selling these fantasies, so buy into them if you really want to.
But that’s not how real life works.
What they NEVER tell you (even the legit courses) is how hard you’ll have to work.
It’s a lie of omission told so they can sleep better at night.
Is it healthy to work 40 – 60 hours per week? No, of course not, but when you’re running everything yourself, then you have three choices:
2. Outsource (not always possible)
2. Put the hours in
One way to avoid this overwork is to set a start and finish time for your day – limit the number of hours you work because otherwise you’ll become another victim of Parkinson’s Law.
But be prepared to work hard for at least your first year, or you’ll be back in your day job quicker than you can say TPS form.
3. No Worky? No Payey!
This is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when running your own business – you only get paid when you work.
Yes, there are ways of creating recurring income from affiliate sites, membership sites, info products, etc. But you’ll have to pay $997, or 3 easy payments of $397, to sign up for my course that explains how to do that. Kidding!
For the rest of the mere mortals, taking a sick day from work changes from “Maybe….” to “Not unless this is terminal”.
This is the most harsh reality of running a small business – being sick for a few days can throw off your entire month because you’ll have to work to make up for it.
That adds a whole additional level of stress to making it through your first few years as an entrepreneur type person.
How do you fix this?
Charge more for what you do than you think is possible.
Whatever you were thinking of charging, add 25% to it, at least.
Actually, make that 50% – people will gladly pay it if you’re good enough at what you do.
Yes, I said “good enough” because people who are “masters” don’t go looking for customers – their customers come looking for them.
So, charge more than you think you’re worth.
4. There’s No Social “Stuff”
No, I don’t mean Facebook or Twitter – I mean real people.
Your social network friends are not real friends – most of them are pseudo relationships at best.
In fact, if you have more than 300 “friends” on these platforms then I’m willing to bet you barely know 200 of them, 50 are kinda acquaintances, and then the other 50 are your actual friends.
What’s weird about not being in an office is that you’ll find yourself missing certain parts of it.
The smoke/vape break with your best work buddy that made your day more bearable.
Or the random lunches with people you actually enjoyed working with.
All those social interactions you had are gone when you’re running your own business.
I’ll take a guess that one of the reasons you want to quit your job is because of office politics, or some kind of toxic workplace crap.
Been there and done that.
But you also need to take into account that not having people around you during the day isn’t always as nice as it sounds.
It can all get a bit “Castaway” at times.
Source: BBC News
5. People Don’t Take You Seriously
It doesn’t matter how hard you try, being left alone to work in your home office can be impossible at times.
Even if you’re living alone you have to deal with random courier deliveries, friends dropping by, etc.
If you’re living with a partner or spouse, then it’s even more of a pain in the ass.
Right now, I share my house with my girlfriend, and she works from home too.
Because she doesn’t understand that what I do is of equal importance to her job i.e. I have to go pick up groceries or walk the dogs.
That’s without the random interruptions during the day to ask how my day is going.
What most at-home workers don’t realize is that every one of these tiny interruptions takes 15 – 20 minutes to recover from.
Not like “trauma” recovery, but to simply get your head back in the game.
This is my biggest pet peeve of the whole lot listed here – being interrupted by either my girlfriend or family members dropping in for “…a few minutes” which invariably turns into 2 – 3 hours.
So, now to appear to be an anti-social ass-hat, I have to hang out with them.
Which then means I have to work late that evening, and that makes me look anti-social.
I kept this one separate to the idea of not having any real privacy, because you have distractions to deal with that are nobody’s fault but your own.
The Internet – even if you need it for work, Facebook or YouTube are the death of personal productivity. The smart move is to just shut down your accounts on them, but failing that block them out while you’re working.
You can use something like the Freedom app for that – it’s what I use.
Your phone – every single bleep, buzz, or ping gives you a reason to pick up your phone and waste 5 minutes of your life. Set it to silent or just leave it in another room. Most people get very few “life and death” calls each day i.e. whatever it is, it’s not that urgent.
Pet dog/cat/raccoon – they’ll bark, meow or whatever raccoons do at the least appropriate time. I guarantee it. Or they’ll come up to your desk pleading for affection, some play time, or just to be their annoying furry self.
Neighbors pets – I love my neighbors.
I love their dogs.
I hate when three of them decide to howl mournfully when she leaves for work each day. It makes me want punch holes in walls. But, the dogs are really cool, so I don’t.
7. You’d Better Be Self-Motivated
There’s no boss, supervisor or manager breathing down your neck each day, for any reason.
No scoring system or KPIs to keep you “focused on your targets”.
You have to decide how to reach goals all on your own, and what hours to put side for that.
That sounds great, right?
Well you also have to accept the consequences if you don’t hit your goals…plus the lack of income that can go with that.
Long story short – you need to get up, put on your big boy’s trousers and get to work.
You’ll have to do that when you are tired.
You’ll have to do that when you “aren’t in the mood”.
You’ll have to do that when you’re literally sick.
You’ll have to do it when you’d rather trim your toe nails with a chainsaw instead.
The work will still be there if you ignore it, goof off, or doze off.
So, unless you’re capable of working under your own guidance, and working f’ing hard, then you’re going to struggle.
So What Now…?
You’ve changed your mind about striking out on your own with a small business?
Because despite everything I’ve said above, working for yourself is one of the most liberating and fulfilling things you can do with your life.
You will amaze yourself at how quickly you can adapt, set boundaries and get serious about what you do.
Just never, ever be sold on the idea that it’s “simple…just follow my plan”, or any of that crap.
Anyone trying to sell you that is…well…I can guarantee they’re selling something, and it’ll only cost you 3 easy payments of $397 each.