The Pros and Cons of Home Offices
As every Virtual Assistant does eventually, you may look around at the workspace in your “office” and believe that you are completely alone. Where is your “easy listening” office music? Where is the community fridge and ever-popular water cooler? Who else works like this? Many people, actually. Here are some great statistics that just might make you feel better and look out of your window with a little more pride. You are a part of a wonderful, and growing I might add, industry. Yes, you are head strong and brave. Not everyone can work from home, although it may be their aspiration. There are many pros and cons to taking that leap. For those who choose to, the pros are priority and the cons, well, a dismissive annoyance. Anything worth doing has some drawbacks but what are you supposed to do? Give up on your dreams because your career is not of the “norm”? No way, Jose.
Pros and cons are a funny thing. Ever head the expression, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? I think it applies here. Working from home, some may think that little or no constant direction is possible. The truth is if you want to be one of those who will make your income in the comfort of your own home, staying focused must be one of your biggest attributes. Deadlines, consistent work and overall production do not go away once you hit the front door. But, you can make it work if you achieve self-discipline and fierce goal-orientation.
Self-discipline is one of the big ones, but what about the little things? Things like family, transportation, even meals can lead to this career style. The costs of everyday life go down. Childcare is no longer needed, gas money and vehicle maintenance becomes less stressful, even lunch at home is more affordable than the “15 minutes or it’s free” speed meals guaranteed at that restaurant down the street. In a world where you are your own time’s boss, life can become paradise… to some.
A con in this time question is when do you shut your front door? In a 9-5 career style, your work environment is structured. The minute you step onto the elevator, your mind leaves work, your feet begin to ache for breath and your cell begins to ring. At home, there is no such structure and your house slippers breathe fine on their own. Knowing when to turn off the e-mail can be vital to your from-home business performance. You do need your own time, too.
Another con in working from home is collaboration. Some work wonders brainstorming with a group of people, coming up with ideas to catapult the company into the future. No “I” in “team” becomes me, myself, and I very quickly. Luckily, technology has taken care of this problem with e-mail, forums and chat. Sitting idly by with a blank mind has an easy solution. Just Google “virtual assistant forums” and you get 2.5 million hits. Yes, you read that right. There is so much help out there; the internet is practically begging you to use its resources.
While, direction and collaboration are nice from outside of the home, inside of the home is what is important. Here is one word you should shun from your brain… distractions. Just forget the word completely, and what it implies. Shut off that donkey YouTube video, put your text messages on silent and for heaven’s sake, please turn off that loud-mouth talk show host. Yes, it would be a great idea to make enchiladas for dinner, but that can wait! Finding time to complete tasks is important and unfortunately, when people know you work from home they believe you aren’t really working at all. You must be steadfast and treat your home as an island of production.
There are some little and big pros and cons to consider, but all will affect your life and job production. If you can make it work, where as you now know so many do, then the benefits are endless. You can achieve more time with your children, dinner every night as a family or even just not taking off of work when the cable man shows up. Working from home is hard but rewarding. Make sure you are making the right career choice, because every one’s situation is different. But, if you do work from home, be proud to be a part of a career style that boasts an elite class of self-discipline and praising productivity.