When I worked for the man full time, I would often day dream about what it would be like to work at home full time. I imagined waking up in the morning walking around my complex listening to the birds sing, heading to the gym, then having lunch at my local park. Then I would come home and get a bit of work done. Finally I would cap the night by playing with my daughter and later snuggling with my wife watching TV.
It's been 3 years later and apparently my present reality and past day dreams aren't seeing eye to eye. To my shock I've discovered that working at home isn't neccessarily all that it's cracked up to be and I've listed the top 5 reasons why below.
I hate that people think I don't work hard because I'm doing it in my boxers. Yes I don't have to deal with manual labor, commuting or office politics. But the fact of the matter is I actually work more hours now than I did working for the man offline. My wife can attest this. Apparently this problem isn't unique to me. There are actual studies that show people that work at home are far more productive than offline workers. Why? Well because most of the time we fail to adhere to the defined work day offline workers have.
For instance, I literally squeeze in work any chance I get. I'll work during commercials, bathroom breaks, eating, down time, etc. Whereas most people clock out at 5pm, I'm still on my grind until I hit that pillow. In fact it's 1:05 am and I'm writing this post. Keep in mind amidst all this, I have to work in time with my ladies (wife and princess). So contrary to popular belief you may actually work more from home than you did offline. I know on the surface it sounds like you're just kicking back but in my experience my hours are way longer than most of the people I know.
I don't mean to get all sensitive on you, but one of the things that I actually miss about working offline is the everyday interaction with my co-workers, "sight seeing" in the park with my boys, after work drinks, etc. I feel like I took a lot of that stuff for granted while being there. The truth is working at home full time makes you feel isolated and you become a hermit. Now for my personality this isn't such a bad thing. But even so, I do miss that human interaction. I've had to resort to Facebook and sites like Mylot to alleviate some of that loneliness. I also visit my ex co-workers from time to time. With that all said, would I trade being at home full time to be back to the rate race? Hell to the nah! I'm not that lonely and why I have a dog! But seriously I do occasionally miss that social interaction.
Let me explain before you jump to conclusions. I have no problems paying my taxes especially when I see them going to work in my community. I live in the suburbs so it's the first time in my life I've actually seen my taxes really be put to good use. My streets are clean, the school systems are decent, the crime is low, we have nice parks, etc, etc. So I'm not opposed to taxes. I just hate the fact that I have to personally managed them. When I worked for the man, HR handled deducting taxes from my check. Yes it always hurt to see FICA take nearly half my check away. But eventually you just got accustomed to the process. Then at the end of the year you would get some of that money back.
But when you work at home, it's a whole other ball game. Most people that work at home aren't employees. You're considered an independent contractor (IC). Basically that's a fancy term for you're on your own. (You can read about how taxes are handled for most people that work at home by clicking here.) Being an IC means I'm responsible for reporting my income to the Feds and paying them their money. This requires putting aside funds for Uncle Sam that I would usually be utilizing for cool things like gadgets or trips to exotic places. Although I do good enough as an affiliate marketer that I still get to enjoy those pleasures but I digress. Working at home also means keeping good records of my expenses, getting incorporated and having a CPA that really understands business taxes. Trust me when I say it's so worth getting incorporated and getting the proper tax advice from experts when you're working at home especially when you're making decent money. I failed to understand this concept initially and ended up owing more taxes than necessary because of it. Now that I have the proper business entity set up and a great CPA I'm accustomed to this process and can pay my taxes with no issues. But boy do I do miss the days of not having to even worry about it. It was just a matter of cashing my checks and living my life. Now it's about making sure all my business expenses are on my AMEX so I have a record of it and to get my points in the process. You know I feel about leverage. lol
When I sought out the goal of working at home full time, it wasn't to become a clown. What I mean is that I didn't know that juggling various aspects of my life was a requirement to work from home. As I said earlier I work more hours now than I ever did working for the man. For me it doesn't feel like work because I'm doing what I love. I'm in control of my destiny and life now. My life is no longer controlled by some snot nosed manager that feels they're better than me because they have a title or went to a fancy IV league school. (No disrespect intended to those folks. lol) However because I really love what I do, I probably put in too many hours than I should. I always feel that I need to respond to an email or comment quickly. But I'm starting to realize the cost of this work ethic. Often times I'm spending time with my daughter or wife and I have the overwhelming feeling to look at my iphone, laptop or ipad to check my emails, comments or stats. That's not normal. But it is when you work at home. Those boundaries of time are sort of lost. I hate that I'm like this now. Ironically because I am this way, I can be at home with my family now. But I know it's not the quality time it should be. So it's something I struggle with and working hard to improve.
Finally I hate that my neighbors, acquaintances and even some friends might think I may be a drug dealer or involved in some illicit activities. I never expected that being at home full time would have people wondering about my character. But apparently if you & your wife drive nice cars and aren't seen in the morning rushing off to work or coming home in the evening, people start wondering what the hell do you do for a living. lol Honestly I can't really blame folks. I would look at my neighbors cock eyed too if I noticed that both adults are home all day but seem to be doing very well. In the natural, the math doesn't add up. But instead of whispering about it, I wish folks would just have the balls to ask what I do. But alas considering I get to be home all day with my family, it's a minor inconvenience I can learn to deal with it. However it's annoying nonetheless.
So there you have it folks, the top 5 reasons I hate working at home. Ultimately none of this stuff outweighs the freedom of being self employed and spending time with your family (even if it's not exactly the quality time you want it to be). I know that I'm very blessed to be in this position. It's a wonderful feeling. I guess it's also the reason why I'm so passionate about helping you all help yourselves to achieve the same bliss. Trust me working at home isn't as glamarous as it may appear to be. I guarantee you'll discover things you don't like about it. But I'm confident you'll have far more reasons to love it than to hate it.
Hey if you work at home full time or part time, let me know what are some of the things you hate about it. Or if you don't work at home full time yet, do you think there will be anything you'll actually hate about working at home? Let me know your thoughts below if you have any.
P.S. If you're looking for work at home jobs, click here. I already know there is going to be a comment regarding this so let's get it out of the way now. lol