Sunday, 28 October 2012

Do you work from home?

This is usually how the conversation flows, whenever I am asked about my work.

X: Do you work?

Me: Yes I do.

X: Which company?

Me: I have my own business. I am a freelance content writer and an essay editor.

X: Do you work from home? 

Me: Yes.

X: Wow, You are so lucky. It must be so good to work from your own home and not go out and work. No tension and no commute. 
Photo courtesy: Forbes.com

If I know the person well, I do go into a long winded explanation but usually I just say, it is not all luck, but involves tons of hard work.

Well for all of you who are sailing in the same boat like me, let me say this, I know exactly how it feels when people say you are lucky, because you work from home. Most of us have given up our well paying jobs to raise children, to provide a stable home, because we have health issues that do not allow us to take full time jobs or like me who had to give up countless jobs because Hubs constantly keeps moving from one city to another. I finally got fed up of hunting for work every time we moved and we have moved houses nearly 14 times in the past 13 years. I started my own content writing firm two years back.

I get upset when people think it is all fun when you work from home.

Though I agree working from home does have it upsides too:

  • I don't have to get dressed, I work in my Pajamas.
  • I don't have to rush in the morning to reach my work place on time.
  • I don't have to bear farty bosses and rude colleagues.
  • I can work when I want.
  • I can work with music blaring loudly.
  • I can have a snack any time I want.
  • I was able to discover my passion for writing and now get paid for what I love to do.
It does have it downsides too, which most people don't bother think about. When you work from home:
  • People don't take your work seriously.
  • They think you are doing it for pocket money and do not consider your career choice to be a serious one.
  • You never get bonus for achieving your targets and most times not even a pat on the back for a  job done well.
  • It can get quite lonely when you work alone. No buddies who can perk you up when you are having a bad day. There are no birthday parties or office parties where you can let your hair down
  • You don't get to dress up and go to work where your colleagues compliment you on your outfit.
  • You never get to gossip with anyone in your "Chai" break
  • Your work gets interrupted because you keep getting up to answer the countless number of times the doorbell rings.
  • People who otherwise would not have thought of dropping in for a holiday, if you were working away from home, end up making visits because they know you are at home. You end up entertaining people on their break, when actually you should be looking for more work.
  • Getting assignments is tough, you have to keep looking for work all the time. 
  • If the client is rotten, you don't even get paid.
  • The line between your home life and work life gets blurred.
  • You get sucked up into doing household chores because they are right there in front of your eyes all the time.
  • There are times when you have no work and days when it is pouring and you don't even have time to breathe.
There, I have now said it out loud and I feel much better after ranting about it. I hope that next time you meet someone, who works from home, you will think twice before you call them lucky. Cause baby, luck has got nothing to do with it, it is all hard work, sweat and tears.


Photo Courtesy: Dudelol

Do you work from home? What has been your experience?

51 comments:

Siddhesh Ravan Kabe said...

I do work from home but not for my own firm. And my experience is something different. But i can pity you people go drilling when they learn you are a writer in the first place.

dgdhan said...

Thats really true,, every profession has its own negatives..

Ruchira Shukla said...

I only work from home in case of emergencies - like when I sprained my ankle or needed to stay at home for some other reason - Frankly I hate it each time I have to do it ,, I like to mingle with people and interact .. otherwise I just get depressed all alone :)

Rachna Srivastava Parmar said...

Oh, how I can relate to your post, Vinita. Just like you, I am a freelancer content writer, a work-at-home mom. I had to bid bye to my career to be there for my two young kids. But, I am so happy being able to pursue my passion from home. Unlike what people think, working from home requires a lot of self-discipline. I enjoy the flexibility and love my work. I now have a string of loyal clients and there are days when I am inundated with work and others when nothing works. That suits me just fine too as it gives me a break and lets me handle situations like kids' exams etc. I try not to work after the kids come home as they full day school these days. But, I steal an hour or two in the evenings too :). I don't really miss the interaction bit that much either. I have a string of friends both virtual and otherwise. I just love working from home :). Great post. Was just thinking where you are when you came up with the post ;-).

manuprakashtyagi said...

i also work . but for no income .

Bikram said...

I work from home sometimes and I think we tend to work more at home ,as no one to disturb in office there are people with whom you can gossip, have a coffee with, chit chat.. but at home all the time is spent on working ..


it is beneficial too that if i have to do some work I can do so in lunch time .. whereas if I am not allowed to work from home I would have had to take a day off to do it ..

jidhujose said...

I am not working from home . but some of my sisters are always asking abt the jobs that can be do from the home itself . Since they have children and have other responsibilities in home and they want to earn money from home too :) . but i think the benefits are less compared to working in the office than in the home.

Martha Orlando said...

Now that I'm looking forward to the publication of my first novel, I've finally labeled myself as self-employed, though I will have to wait awhile to see the monetary fruits of endless hours of writing.
I agree with you about the downside of not going out in the world to work, especially the occasional feeling of being isolated. But, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world because the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Great post!
Blessings to you!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I can so understand this, Vinita. You've done a great job of talking about the upsides and the challenges. Self-discipline is an integral part of working at home, since there's no external 'monitor'.

amit said...

I have never worked from home but a lot of my friends do. I think it is more hard work because of the environment. I know that I will feel lazy and easily distracted. It needs a lot of self-decipline and determination. When I was working on my novel it took me some time to get into the groove. I could not sit still for more than 20 minutes.

Shilpa Garg said...

OMG LP!! I can so relate to this!! I was nodding to each and every word you have said here! This was exactly I had gone through when I was working from home! I liked the busy-busy days and no-work days too. :)

Meena said...

Hahaha!! this is such an enlightening post. Infact I literally *escaped* from home after a stint of working from home. I was forever rushing between housework, baby stuff and the Pc, that I very nearly went nuts. Kudos to you for having done it for so long!

susandeborah said...

I have never worked from home but I'm at home in this present time and not working. It is not that easy, as you have mentioned. Somehow the thought of the fun element seeps in when people hear the word 'home.' I guess the 'home' in the work from home gets the attention and the fun. But at the end of the day, it is work, as you say.

Take care and have a great week.

Joy always,
Susan

Psych Babbler said...

I wouldn't want to work from home full time given that I agree with some of the downsides you've said. But I do wish I could occasionally (like once or twice a month) work from home. Unfortunately in my job, that's next to impossible. :) Oh...can I just say though, given I work for the public sector, I don't get bonuses or a pat on the back! :| And I have to travel about an hour each way for work.

Brittany said...

Great post! I do not work from home but I would absolutely love to. Wake up when you want, take vacations, go for lunch. Let me ask you this... Do you really enjoy what you do? You mentioned the line between home life and work life gets blurred but it shouldn't feel like work if you love what you do!

Lazy Pineapple said...

Well I like working from home, what irks me when people think it is a cakewalk. People generally do not think artistic professions have much value.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks for your comment :) welcome to lazy pineapple

Lazy Pineapple said...

I like to mingle and interact too, but had to choose the lesser of two evils, work from home or keep changing jobs. I have now learnt how to concentrate and work hard while sitting alone.

Lazy Pineapple said...

I agree with you about self discipline Rachna. So many times I have to stop that urge of sitting in front of TV and watching mindless crap. I like the flexibility too. WHat makes me angry is that people think that freelancing is so easy.
I have been bogged down with a lot of work suddenly and so have been not able to read anyone's blog :( thanks for thinking about me :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

You do community work?

Lazy Pineapple said...

I believe both working from home and working from office have their good and bad points. This post was to tell people that as a freelancer it is not easy, there is a lot of hard work and dedication. There are better financial perks when you have a steady income unlike us who get paid per assignment.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Well both have their positive and negative points. Having worked in a office and now working from home I believe you need more discipline when you work from home.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Welcome to Lazy Pineapple.
I agree that freelancing is a liberating feeling. This post is to tell people that people like you and me don't have it easy as most people feel. We put in a lot of hard work to be where we are now.
Congratulations on the Novel. What is it all about?

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Corinne :) I agree and we also need to be constantly motivated to do our work.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Amit. I agree, even I get tempted to take a nap or watch TV when I am not very eager to write. Congratulations on your novel. Is it already published?

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Shilpa :) I am glad you agree with me. I too enjoy off days but not too many of them else I lose my enthusiasm.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Welcome to Lazy Pineapple Meena :)
Thankfully I love writing so that is not a problem. I like to freelance, it gives me a lot of freedom. Only thing that makes me angry is when people assume that you are free because you work from home.

manuprakashtyagi said...

No . I write my experiecnce on my travelling . I travel and after that i writes it on my blog.

Ash Li said...

I work from home and have been doing so since this past Jan. I love what I do and get great satisfaction from the final delivered product. Start Your Family Tree w/ Me! Professional Genealogist from Springfield, Tennessee. 4 Generations from your Grandparents. Certified Genealogist SM Accredited Genealogist ®
http://fiverr.com/tn5rr2012

Joe Zach said...

The best I like:-)

I can work with music blaring loudly.
Well I don't mind that .... not exactly blaring , but at a respectable volume.

Dr Roshan R said...

i know its no cakewalk... but I definitely dont agree with people who try to put it down . just because someone gets to go to an office doesnt neccessarily mean they are doing any productive work, does it ?

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

One of the big problems I have faced in working out of home is that people take it for granted that you are available and that your work time is totally flexible. Relatives and friends call for long durations or drop in without announcements. People ask you to run errands because they think you are "idle." Of course, this problem worsens when it doesn't rain and pours instead. Could identify very strongly with the pros and the cons.

Lazy Pineapple said...

I agree Susan, people think it is quite easy when you work from home.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Ahh PB I understand. This post is mainly my rant about what people people think when I tell them that I work from home.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Joe :) Neither do I work with blaring music but I can at least play it loudly

Lazy Pineapple said...

Well people are not fair to even home makers who work as hard as anyone I know. These days that job is not considered a valued a one :(

Lazy Pineapple said...

Oh that happens to me as well. People call me at their own convenience without thinking about mine. I totally hear you...

Lazy Pineapple said...

Ahh that is nice. I also don't get paid for writing this blog.

Deepa said...

Thank you so much LP for bringing to the fore, both the ups and downs of people working from home. Like some wrongly assume, its not a cakewalk. I have worked from home at times when the situation demanded it, but it takes a whole lot of self-discipline. Its very tempting to plop yourself on the couch in front of the TV or read a good book, you wouldn't know where the day went. And working from home is WORKING too. I do feel that I am able to get more work done, but I probably had less distractions because hardly anyone knew that I was working from home. The day it gets set in stone, I can imagine people dumping errands or calling you in the middle of something you're so focussed on! I hate it when certain people really try to put it down. Its another under-appreciated form of work just like the work that homemakers do. They WORK too! I used to like the work-from-home at times, but yes, there's this need to talk to people and get out and have breaks and chat about nonsense stuff, it would take some getting-used-to if I have to completely switch to this form. But yes, am one of those categories who's now given up my job because my husband keeps switching towns owing to his work. So this is exactly what I am looking into at the moment and your posts (as well as your words) are extremely helpful! Thank you!

Zephyr said...

I agree with Rachna about self-discipline. One needs to have a handle on one's time and keep it that way. I have worked from home for a long time now, but of late, I find it too much pressure. So I have given up and am having fun just blogging. After all I am not the 'bread-winner' and get to use up all the money that the L&M earns. I can see some feminist types bristle :)



The long and short of it is that I will never take your work for granted and will give you a super big hug when we meet, ok?

Deepak said...

:) well said! When people read my travelogues and call me lucky I have a problem too! Little do they know how much of work goes into it!

Lazy Pineapple said...

That is sweet Deepa :) I am glad I was of some help. It does take a lot of discipline to sit down in place in your own home to do work.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Yes Zephyr I agree. Thanks for not taking my work for granted and waiting to meet you soon :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

I so understand what you mean Deepak :) I wrote this post especially for people like us ;)

Otto von Münchow said...

Working home certainly doesn't mean to work less as some people think. There are lot's of downsides to it, but much positive to be said about it, too. Where the balance falls is a matter of what is important for each of us. Working home has been my choice all the time. It gives me more time to work, because I don't have to commute one hour each day to work. So for me it's more positive than negative.

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

Saw your professional website. It is great. One of the fun-est challenges I deal with is not having a business card. I love saying, "I don't have one," in reply to "Can I have your card?" Have you had to deal with this or do you have a card?

Lazy Pineapple said...

Yes I agree it has much more positives than negatives. You have the flexibility to plan your work. I wrote this post because I encountered many people who think that working from home is all just fun and play :)
Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Thanks Subhorup. I am getting my visiting cards designed and printed :) It always is very handy to pass on your contact details to someone you meet the first time.

Rachna Srivastava Parmar said...

You know what! I am meeting more and more freelancers these days -- Corporate trainers, software programmers and Content writers :).

Lazy Pineapple said...

That is good :) I believe freelancing gives you so much freedom and even satisfaction.

Phatichar said...

Don't ask :(


It has its benefits, though, can't deny.

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