Working at home can either be the greatest idea in the world or the worst idea. Some people just aren’t cut out to working at home. Here are 5 reasons why working at home may not work out for you.
1. Being self motivated is harder than it sounds – A big misconception about working at home is that it’s easy. You may be a very responsible and hardworking person but the real test to self motivation is when you are working at home. There are a thousand and one distractions, are you someone who can block out all of the household chores that need done? Can you ignore the call of reality TV or video games? Can you remember an errand that you forgot to do and put it out of your head until your work is done? I know many people who say that they have no problem ignoring distractions and getting their work done only to realize that dirty laundry seems so much more important than typing out a transcription or answering the phone. The next thing you know the day is over and they only clocked in a few hours of work. This may be fine for an independent contractor position (except for the fact you would only be paid for those few hours) but if you have a job with a set schedule and commitments that you can’t miss, then distractions can cost you the job that you worked so hard to get.
2. A quiet place to work isn’t as realistic as it may seem – There are a lot of work at home positions which require a quiet work environment, some positions even require a dedicated office space. Even if you have a whole room with a door that locks sometimes achieving that quiet is impossible. I was almost denied a position with a company because during my interview an ambulance and a few police cars went by. I forgot to close my window and to prove that my office was quiet I got up and closed the window. That saved the job for me. I have worked many phone positions and have known coworkers who had contracts terminated for a barking dog, crying baby, or a TV/radio that can be heard on the recorded call. Some companies aren’t as strict but some are a little too strict. Customer’s have asked if I worked at home because my office was so quiet, if you have ever called into a busy call center you can understand why sometimes too quiet can be a bad thing. Employers don’t listen to us though and demand enough quiet that they could hear a pin drop. If you live in the city (I do) or have a child (I have a 3 yr old) or a pet (1 yr old Shih Tzu) then I highly suggest investing in a fan, you would be surprised how much noise they can block out. Of course if it’s not possible for you to have a dedicated office space and your house is full of yelling, barking, and the sounds of sirens or motorcycles definitely look into a position that doesn’t require that you have complete quiet.
3. Equipment can be expensive – You will rely heavily on your office equipment. If you are lucky enough to work for a company that provides your equipment you won’t have as many costs as someone starting their first position where nothing is provided, although you will still need to make some investments. A few of the items that will be necessary are a fast computer, high speed internet, phone line, head set and land-line phone (for phone positions), transcription software and foot pedal (for transcription), USB headset or speakers, webcam (for meetings and interviews), printer/copier/scanner, comfortable desk chair, desk, and more depending on the job. You can check out my article Home Office Setup for more information. Working at home can be costly in fact any independent contractor position can be. If you decide to do sales work such as realty or insurance you will need to invest in marketing tools. For companies where you are selling wholesale you may need to purchase products. Companies like Avon or Arbonne may ask you to purchase a starter kit. You will need to invest in your work at home job even if you aren’t paying the company directly to work.
4. Handling Nay Sayers – Even in 2014 many people aren’t familiar with working at home. You may get looked at like you don’t actually work or people may tell you that you are going to be scammed. I have read so much on the internet that there is no legitimate work at home and that people who are looking to work at home are gullible. I worked for a very well known and successful tech company and my husbands Aunt asked if they were a fly by night company. I’ve had a car salesman look at me like I was crazy when I say I worked at home and didn’t believe I could make an income even after showing my pay stubs. Even jobs that have been around for a long time like sales people aren’t taken seriously when they say they work at home. You must be ready for people to put down or ask a lot of questions about the career that you have chosen.
5. You must be able to handle rejection – Rejection happens every day in the real world but when it comes to finding work at home being told no becomes second nature. I am a big believer in applying at as many positions as you can. The reason for this is because working at home is extremely competitive. You are competing against people from all over the country or even world to get a job that may only have 100 spots available. It has been getting easier since more companies are shifting to work at home employees but, even now, it’s still hard out there. If you are just starting out then you will want to try getting a contractor position and gaining experience. Freelancing and working for a company who hires independent contractors are great ways to show future employers that you have what it takes to work at home and puts you a little bit ahead of the people with 0 experience. Never think that a company who hires contractors are going to hire anyone though, there are plenty of them that fill up very quickly and they are usually the best companies. People will work for a good company for year and they will only open hiring for a short period, if you aren’t quick you could miss it. There are also companies who hire in waves meaning that they will hire thousands of people within a few weeks/months time and then close hiring until they need people again. If you miss the wave you would be out of luck. Other companies want a certain type of person, 1 wrong answer and the job could go to someone else. Then there’s those times that you think you nailed the interview and everything went great only to get an email saying that they decided to hire someone else instead. I’ve applied for hundreds of jobs over the years and most of them I either never heard anything at all or got the rejection email. The “thanks for playing” rejection email is never fun but you can’t take it personally, just move on to the next job.
Remember you never know if you are made out for a certain type of work until you try so take a look at the links available on here and try it out for yourself!