shannon kirk writer freelance work from home

Want To Work from Home? The Pros and the Cons

shannon kirk writer freelance work from home

Ok, yeah. If I had a fuzzy rug (wait, is that TWO fuzzy rugs?!), I’d probably work on the floor, too.
(Photo by Mikayla Mallek on Unsplash)

Don’t worry – this isn’t one of those irritating paragraphs that shows up on almost every blog comment section, touting the potential to earn $3000 a week if you just click this link!

I actually do work from home as a freelancer – as in, I’m self-employed – and I don’t make money with any of those “companies”. Nor do I make anything even remotely resembling $3000/week. Alas.

(Speaking of: has anyone ever followed one of those links? I’m curious whether or not they are authentic businesses, though I’m fairly sure most of their employees don’t earn $3000 a week!)

Anyway, I wanted to talk about what I think of working from home, now that I’ve been doing it exclusively for almost two years. Spoiler alert: I do have a computer and a roof over my head, so you know I’m making some kind of living, here. Ergo, I must be an expert on the topic.

The Pros

  • I don’t have set hours. Ah, believe me when I tell you it’s amazing to wake up some mornings and think “Ugh. I really need to just lie here and read for an hour before I can even think about being productive,” and then actually do that. Or, let’s say the forecast predicts rain at 2pm – you can just decide to start your work day then, and take advantage of the sun all morning!
  • There’s lots of organization. Ok, maybe I’m a weirdo, but I really love organizing things, and that’s good because there’s a lot of that when it comes to being self-employed. You need to track your invoices, your payments, your expenses, your workload … But it’s totally worth it because my taxes actually took me less time last year than any other year.
  • I don’t need to leave the house. This is actually a down side for people who are a bit more social than me, but I have never liked the office vibe, the politics, or, especially, the drive to work. Not only can I stop and start my work throughout the day, but I just have to walk from the bedroom to the home office and sit down. Usually in my pjs.

The Cons

  • I don’t have set hours. Unless you’re a hardcore Type A sort (I guess, maybe?) who makes and follows daily plans to the letter, you will find it hard to keep yourself motivated. Why would you work when you could finish that novel, or binge-watch that Netflix show, or go to the beach, all without a boss calling you up and admonishing you for failing to show up?
  • There’s lots of organization. And if you fall behind, you’ll be spending hours catching up, with lots of confusion thrown in. You need to remember to work the time it takes to do all that into your base hourly rate too, right, because otherwise you’re working for free.
  • I don’t need to leave the house. Which means there are some days I realize at 8pm that I didn’t actually breathe fresh air all day, or notice whether it was overcast or sunny. My eyes are often about ready to fall out of my head, and the neck crinks are real. Not to mention the fact that I don’t think I’ve showered since going for drinks with friends last Saturday, and there’s a distinct possibility I haven’t changed out of these pajamas since then, either.

Alright, so you might have picked up on the fact that this list is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it’s (mostly) true. There are good and bad sides to everything because our lives are all about balance. Are all those “cons” things I could eradicate? Yes. Am I going to be able to do that, being an ordinary human with ordinary flaws and a bit of a lazy streak? Maybe not right away, or all at once.

But hey, recognizing there’s a problem is the first step, right?

Now, excuse me while I go see what Luke Cage has been up to…

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