Are You Home Worker Material?

work-from-homeLots of people listen with envy when they hear a self-employed person describe their daily routine. There’s no need to commute anywhere, no need to begin the day at a certain time, and if they have things to do that aren’t connected with work in the daytime, it’s no big deal – they can always fit work in around those other things.

They’re the people who always turn up to the school play and sports day, and who can take their kids to the football or netball matches at 3:30pm.

From the outside in, life as a home worker can seem idyllic. That’s not the full story, though. When you’re thinking about what freedom that person has, do you also realise that every month’s income is an unknown for them? They can’t necessarily plan ahead as they don’t know how much money will be coming in. Consequently, there’s often a feeling that every piece of work should be accepted in case next month is a quiet month. So self-employed people can be crazily busy at times as they’ve taken on too much work, or if it’s really quiet, they can be really anxious and waiting for the phone to ring.

Depending on your personality, you’re either suited to home working or self-employment or not. You have to weigh up the disadvantages of working for a company – rules, restrictions, appraisals and office politics – over the advantages. These would include the security of a steady monthly income and the fact that the buck doesn’t stop with you.

Other character traits that successful self-employed people might have are being able to achieve deadlines without leaving everything to the last minute and being comfortable in their own company. Some people long to be away from the stress of an office environment, but when they make the move to home working find it a very isolated existence.

And while you may think it would be great to work from home and see more of the kids, think about how realistic a prospect this is. You will have to work, and this will sometimes spill into the evenings and weekends – far more often than if you worked in an office. That work/life balance isn’t always easy for self-employed people to achieve.

If you’re thinking about making the leap away from employee status to self-employment, think long and hard about the pros and cons, before you make any rash decisions.

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