I work from home and it causes problems. It also has its benefits, but the problems are of quite a nasty nature and after about 15 years of it I look back and sense that over time my health has been damaged (stress, heart) and my mental condition is slightly skewed from reality – well – a reality of working outside in the big wide world that is.
You see the thing is, those around me do not appreciate how hard it is to work when there are other people in the house. So the wife inviting her mum round for the day is a HUGE problem. Naturally the wife cannot see this, and argues that I won’t be disturbed (in a three bed semi) and that I should just grow up and concentrate on my work.
I am sick to death of my wife – absolutely sick to death of her. She works 4 days a week and slums it on a friday claiming she’s doing “jobs” – although god only knows what these are – generally nothing more than playing on her iphone and moaning about how the jobs never get done – today though she’s got her mum coming round to do the ironing for her – and despite whatever is claimed otherwise, SHE WILL DISTURB ME. This 4 day week slop has gone on for about 8 years now, and she thinks she’s hard done to.
So problems arise when home working (and there is also this marketing and case study kind of work – that sort of thing) from this angle – one of many infact – but in general the topic is the same no matter how it manifests itself. Let me explain.
Not only do I work from home, but I work for myself – there is no manager telling me what to do and how to do it. I have to *think* and think hard – developing websites, product research, programming, shipping products, negotiating with suppliers, finding suppliers, getting customers to find me, providing customer support, ordering, testing. The list goes on and on. In essence – it is hard – and there are ZERO guarantees of making any profit.
Add to this I drop the kids off at 9.00 – get back at 10 past 9, then pick them up at 3.00 and it all ads up to a 6 hour working day at absolute best with no breaks. Then comes the general underlying topic.
NOBODY – AND I MEAN NOBODY – RESPECTS MY TIME.
I am available for anything – anything at all. Including the above, I can take people shopping, drop peoples post off for them, jack in my company at school holiday times, go visit sick friends, sort out ALL paperwork for the home (bills, tv packages, tax credits etc), sort out ALL car issues (except I have finally forced the wife to sort her own paperwork out on the car insurance front). I can have a chat to neighbours over the garden fence for all hours, stop what I am doing to lend them tools etc. Sack my company to fix things in the garden – like fencing and other maintenance (which can sometimes take days). Stop what i’m doing to go and pay the window cleaner. Go shopping for tea for the kids or just to get the bits and bobs we need. The list goes on and on and on.
NO ONE PERSON APPRECIATES THAT I HAVE TO BE WORKING BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THEY AREN’T AT THE TIME OF DISTURBING ME – IT DOESN’T MATTER TO THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVE SWEATY NINE TO FIVE JOBS AND ARE GETTING PAID NO MATTER WHAT.
I have always maintained that not one of these little issues would cause me a problem on its own – even stopping work at 2.30 or so every day – but added up – they are a KILLER and a real problem if you are working from home by yourself.
If you add all of the problems up, plus school holidays – you’ve had it.
Unless you work nights or weekends aswell – which I always do – the best you will achieve in this situation would be about 20 hours per week.
I would say in summary that the problems of working from home outweigh the benefits some days, and other days I would die to have a 9 to 5 job. But whatever – my health has suffered.