Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide to Work From Home

by WordWelder

Working at home may not be as easy as some people think it is. Before you decide to quit your day job, try answering these three questions.

Working from home seems to be the office worker's dream these days, and why not? The entire idea of working at home is filled with pleasant concepts, isn't it?

You can pretty much get out of bed whenever you want. You can work whenever you feel like it. You do not have to get dressed to work. The list of perks go on and on.

As with many things where the grass is greener on the other side may apply, however, it is easy to overlook the not-so-pleasant aspects of working from home. Think being accountable primarily to yourself. Think increased responsibility. Think distraction.

Going freelance and working from home is a big step. Whether you look for online content jobs, blogging jobs, developer jobs, designer jobs, or virtual assistant jobs, the basic principles are the same.

Before you actually take the leap, take the time to analyze the situation and assess yourself. Here are three important questions that I think will help you in making the right decision.

Discipline
Discipline

Do I have enough self-discipline?

It's very easy to answer yes to this question. This is especially true if you have a proven track record of being a good office worker. You are rarely late to work. You always meet your deadlines - even if you have to work through your breaks. You're the trustworthy employee. That's all well and good, but the harsh reality is this: when it comes to working at home, even the most industrious of employees may not make it!

I have known many individuals who were awesome at the office. When they went freelance, however, and worked from the comforts of home, things seemed to change. They had trouble managing their time. They had difficulties focusing on the tasks at hand.

The main issue is that when you work from home, you need to exert self-discipline more than ever. You need to be able to focus on work, ignore the distractions of television, the Internet, the family, errands, and so on. You need to be able to get real work done instead of being distracted by other seemingly important things.

You may have all the online content jobs you can work on. You may have tons of design orders pending. You may even have to say no to some clients. However, it all boils down to you being able to do all these things without having the pressure of knowing the boss is next door - or across the room for that matter.

So, do you really think you have enough self-discipline?

Home Office
Home Office

Will I have a conducive place to work in?

Every person has different definitions of "conducive work place". Some can focus on their tasks even with some distractions around them. Others cannot work with the slightest noise. Personally, I like working with something in the background - a movie, a music concert, or a relaxing music album.

The çrucial thing is that if you do decide to work from home, you know for sure that you will have a place which you can designate as your office. A place which, when you sit down there, means you are at work.

You may have a room at home which you can set up as your office. It does not even have to be a room - a corner with a desk works for some. I know some people who work excellently while sitting on the couch or the bed. They simply have a lot of self-discipline and can work on demand, even if they do not have a desk.

You alone can answer this question, but you have to be totally honest.

Is there a conducive "office" for you at home?

Where do I get my motivation from?

I know that is a rather vague question, and there is probably no clear cut answer. What matters at this point is that you understand that working from home can become very, very tiring. Draining. Demotivating. Use whatever other related word you can think of - it all boils down to the same thing: it's not all sugar and spice!

When it happens - and it definitely will - you need to be able to reach as deep as necessary within yourself to get motivated. It is easy to say, but it may very well be one of the hardest things you'll have to do as a freelancer.

I think that one important thing to realize is how you get motivated. Where do you get your motivation? Do you continuously need a pat on the back from other people? Or are you able to talk yourself into getting things done?

The sad truth is, you might have to rely more on yourself for motivation. Can you handle that?

Where do you think you'll work best?

Take Your Time

These questions are not meant to be a conclusive guide to decide whether or not you are fit to work from home. They are only meant to help you as you analyze your own situation. Of course, it is good to know about the realities of working from home, but at the end of the day, only you can decide if you ought to go for it.

Good luck!

Updated: 09/04/2012, WordWelder
 
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Rose on 01/08/2014

You also end up doing longer hours when you work from home, as there is no fixed cutoff time. And you end up working all weekend and on Christmas Day too in between cooking the Christmas dinner!

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