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10 Things I Have Learned From Working At Home.

A lot of people have emailed me over the last 7 months about my working at home. Just so everyone knows, I did have a desk job…in fact I worked in offices for 12 years until this past October, when I gave notice at my job to go out on my own. So far it has been fantastic, as I make my own hours, spend some time at the beach, meet for coffee or lunch with friends (whom also work as freelancers) in the middle of the day, etc. That all being said…sometimes it is a little claustrophobic being in my house all the time with no one to talk to but the cat. Since receiving all these emails, I figured I would put a little list together about what I have learned since I started working from home.

10. There are a lot of other people not working at 9-5 jobs as well. In fact, about half the people in my building are home all day and all night, and I never see them working. Rather I see them sitting outside having tea and heading to the beach day after day. Go figure.

9. Some days it takes a lot of effort to shower and get dressed before noon. A lot of times I will get up at my normal time (between 8 – 8:30) and head into my office, fire up the computer, and get right down to business. When I look up, it is 12:00 and I am still sitting here in my sweats with a cold cup of coffee.

8. My wife is incredibly jealous of me. She gets up, goes to work, goes to school, and sometimes does not come home until about 9pm. I try to explain to her that I am not just sitting around watching TV all day, but she doesn’t buy it. But until I stop getting paid, I guess she has no choice but to believe me.

7. Our cat talks…a lot. I always wondered what they did all day, and really, it’s not all that exciting. Sleep, eat, run around, and talk. Rinse and repeat, over and over. He is half Siamese, so I know he talks a lot, but I did not know he does it all day long.

6. Working from home you do lose a certain sense of job security, even though working in an office does not provide “real” security, either. I guess it just feels more real because you are with other people. I had no more job security at my office than I do here, but it just feels strange. You can be laid off from any job at any time, so being in control of my own clients and workload is probably MORE secure, even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

5. Handling your money becomes a bigger deal when you freelance. One major source of my monthly income does take out taxes, as I am on payroll with them. But my other clients do not, and I have to be sure to monitor my accounts all year to make sure I am putting aside enough money to pay the tax bill when it comes due. Also, you have to do your own investing, as their is no company sponsored 401K to pay into anymore.

4. Health insurance is really no more expensive on your own then it is with a company. Well, if you are healthy, I suppose. With group plans at an office, you have to be accepted into the program, no matter what conditions you may already have. Private insurance can reject you for previous conditions. Luckily, my wife and I are healthy and were accepted right away. I am paying LESS to cover us privately in a PPO with Blue Cross than I was for the same coverage at my office job. Of course, if you are lucky enough to have the company pay for it, then you are even better off, but I don’t have many friends with 100% paid for health insurance.

3. Working at home saves a LOT of money. I eat out less, I buy less junk food, sodas and juice, I don’t stop on the way home from work to pick up things that I could do without, etc. We sold a car (my community is 100% walkable), which saves money on gasoline, parking and insurance. I have no more expenses here at the house then I did before, except maybe the lights and computer are on more often.

2. There ain’t that much on television from about 10am until 4pm every day, unless you enjoy Oprah, sewing shows and soap operas. Thankfully, we have Tivo.

1. Working at home has opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities that I might not have seen before. I see things online that could be improved, I have more time to work on my various online ventures, I have learned new ways to make money, and I have more time to investigate things that interest me. I can take classes during the day, I play tennis twice a week before my “old” work day would have ended, and I have the freedom to take a few days off in a row if I want to and do all my work at night. I can work every other day, strange hours, or any combination in between. Honestly, if I do ever have to go back to working in an office with set hours, I do not know how I will do it. If you can work from home at all, I would figure out a way to do it. It is totally worth it. The main thing you have to do is to force yourself to find reasons to get out of your house occasionally, or you will go stir crazy. I did at first, but I think I have found my groove.

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Comments (48)

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  1. You work from home David? Man I need to talk to you. Do you have AIM or anything like that?

  2. Chicky says:

    I currently work from home full-time, and had to laugh (with you, of course) at some of the items on your list. #9 especially. And as far as #1…I used to call the people that were at the same coffee shops as me my “co-workers”, because that was the closest thing I had. There are days that pass and I realize the only person I’ve had a face to face conversation with is the cashier at Target (I’m single, no roommate). So I agree…you definitely have to make lunch plans or any other plans to shake up your day. My next door neighbors (same building) also work from home and we often chat just for someone real to talk to. :o) But I wouldn’t trade this for a regular job for anything!!

  3. John Jackson says:

    I just started working from home. You can go stir crazy. I will have to get a laptop to move around. Hopefully that will help me get out, a lot more.

  4. david says:

    I agree John…its can drive you nuts. A laptop can be your best friend!

  5. Eek! says:

    In reason #8 you say “I try to explain to [my wife] that I am not just sitting around watching TV all day, but she doesn’t buy it.” Then you list reason #2 as “There ain’t that much on television from about 10am until 4pm every day”.

    You’d better hope your wife (and employers/clients) don’t read this article… ;-)

  6. david says:

    Funny that you caught that, I did too…after I posted it. “Honey, I swear, I don’t even know how to turn the TV on…” (truthfully, there ain’t nothing on…really…”

  7. PENIX says:

    Hopefully, I’ll be on the path to self employment again someday. That was the best job I’ve ever had. For now, I need the stability of a 8-5 job.

  8. Big T says:

    Just made the transfer back to a 9-5 job after freelancing from home for 5 years.

    I’m definitely spending more money on going out to lunch again. After 8 weeks, I’m already sick of sandwich meat and pb&j!

    My wife couldn’t handle my late night hours and the randomness of my income.

    I didn’t like coming back to the corporate world, but, if you find the right (hourly) 9-5 job, you can watch just as much YouTube and read as many blogs as you would working from home, except actually get paid for it!

  9. [...] Things I Learned Working From Home: Being someone who works at home myself, I could relate to this post very well. If you are thinking of striking it out on your own and working from home in the future, this is a good list to look over with the added benefit of a bit of humor thrown in. [...]

  10. ahmed says:

    i think that working at home is best but from my experience as a new internet baby i would think that i am going to start with google and for 6 months i have no money but i think for an experienced seo working man it is no problem that you can earn money from google and other advertising agencies.

  11. aehend says:

    My husband and I both work from home, except that he goes to his clients’ office about 4 times a month. We have young children, and we chose this over 9-to-5s initially as a maternity leave.

    It’s turned into a 2-year maternity/paternity leave thus far and has been FANTASTIC for our sanity and our family life. Not everyone can do this, of course, but we are very thankful that we have had the chance.

    I think that if you get trained and experienced up to “professional” level in most fields, and develop enough self-confidence and initiative to run yourself as a company of one (or two), you can pull this off. There are plenty of consulting, publishing, and other options, largely thanks to the Net.

  12. Super Mike says:

    Good for you, John. This is how America can become great again, get off foreign oil and lower its price, lower greenhouse gases, return business back to the USA, and return back to the days of ethical capitalism where the consumer, employee, and investor were balanced with equal respect, and where consumers can get more personal attention again. I bet you even have more time and cash now to become a steward of the environment, which is probably not something you had time before, previously.

    Unfortunately I’m up to my eyeballs in debt right now and cannot leverage my way into freelance work, but I’m definitely keeping an eye on it and have begun a vast moonlight startup that may one day release its product and help wean me off my salaried office job and hour-long commute. Wish me luck!

  13. The Joys of Self-Employment…

    I have been self-employed many times throughout my career, and even though I now work for someone else, I have wide latitude to work from home, so I still have the freedom that comes with the situation. For me, I……

  14. I’ve been working as a freelancer for a little over 3 years now and it’s really tough at times and super lonely, but once you can settle your habits and if you can be disciplined, it’s wonderful. I was able to take a 3 week vacation last summer without having to consult my boss or worry about an office or coworkers!

    That said, I’m teaming up with several other people soon which is going to make my life so much easier.

  15. Mel says:

    Great article. I also work from home – so I can totally relate. I would probably add #11 to my list: Learn to separate work from pleasure. Too often, in the beginning, I would find myself feeling guilty if I wasn’t spending every free moment working, only because my work was sitting right in front of me. It’s important to set limits so you don’t turn into a workaholic.

  16. [...] What I learnt from working from home. [...]

  17. david says:

    Thanks for all the comments everyone!

  18. GiaMa says:

    Hi! I work from “home” too (or from every place from where I can connect my PC to broadband). I am a financial technician (chartered market technician is someone who is paid to produce analysis and builds strategies looking at charts). One of the biggest point against working from home (for me) is the lack of interpersonal relationships. The “face to face” talking. :-)

  19. Great article! I have been trying to do more freelance job, so when I get back to school I don’t have to keep working full time. Thanks again.

  20. Henry Bemis says:

    Hi,

    Presently, I’m working part-time and freelancing. I work out of the house 4 hours a day and the rest is freelancing at home. I’m making a living without the salary.

    For “face to face” lack ofs, try starting a freelancers group, something that meets regularly and gets you out of the house.

    Henry Bemis

  21. tanyetta says:

    i would like to work from home! :)

  22. [...] 10 things I Have Learned Working From Home I did have a desk job…in fact I worked in offices for 12 years until this past October, when I gave notice at my job to go out on my own. So far it has been fantastic, as I make my own hours, spend some time at the beach, meet for coffee or lunch with friends (whom also work as freelancers) in the middle of the day, etc. That all being said…sometimes it is a little claustrophobic being in my house all the time with no one to talk to but the cat. Since receiving all these emails, I figured I would put a little list together about what I have learned since I started working from home. 10 Things I Have Learned From Working At Home. | My Two Dollars [...]

  23. Marie says:

    As a new virtual assistant I am on my way to working from home 100% of the time. Right now I still have a part time job 30 hrs a week. I am glad to see health insurance won’t be as worrisome as I thought. I had did some research but for a family of 4 it can be costly.

  24. Vaughn says:

    I used to work from home for my first company, and it was marvelous. It was either that or spending 2 hours in traffic each day, so my company was more than happy to sponsor broadband, etc. But now I’m back in an office, waking up at 6am, and this article reminded me that I should look into freelancing or at least telecommuting again!

    My biggest problem was trying to stop working, because I’d end up working 12 hours straight programming and then burn myself out, at least in the office I’m reminded to stop working after 8 hours.

  25. Cindy M says:

    I work from my home also and have done so now for 12 years as a medical transcriber for a national company, and I do this second shift (3-11 p.m.) 5 days a week. I grant you this works best if you have no spouse or kids or if your sweetie works the same hours. (I worked in hospitals for 18 years prior so I know all about the rat race). I LOVE the evening working hours and would probably NOT work from home if I had to do it in the daytime. My God, you sure would feel cooped up that way, especially on a beautiful day. Second shift is cool – I do my thing in the daylight hours outside the house as much as possible with or without companionship; lunch and entertainment are generally cheaper and you’re right, there are a surprising lot of folks out there in the daytime who apparently don’t have 9-5 jobs during the week. I’m in bed before midnight and up at 6-7 a.m. and have a full day without being exhausted before I start work; that’s what’s nice about working the 3-11 p.m. shift.

  26. coffeepro says:

    Nice article. My GF works full time at home on her pc/phone as a live operator and loves it. Some days she never gets out of her PJ’s. Right now I’m 60/40 job/internet business but just can’t seem to take the big jump. Maybe 2008.

  27. David says:

    Wow, I love all the comments. Coffeepro, good luck in 2008, its worth the effort. And Cindy, getting out of the house is the biggest deal…if I didn’t I am sure I would lose my mind!

  28. Ben says:

    I’m jealous! Working from home would be awesome. No more commute, set my own hours, work on what interests me rather than same old crap every day, sounds great!

  29. jennifer says:

    I am a wahm and love it, but it can get tiring. because i am usually home 24/7!! no vacation here!

  30. I’ve learned that I have much more job security as a self-employed person than as someone under the corporate sword of Damocles. It’s been over 16 years without fear of a layoff. OK, and I can work in my jammies.

  31. Swathi says:

    hey guys im news to this website..i always have a feeling that work from home jobs are all scam..can you guys provide me with the website where you guys work

  32. david says:

    I work for real companies like everyone else, except I work at home.

  33. Pets are wonderful companions; especially dogs and cats.

  34. MeLiSsA says:

    This article is so funny coz everything in it is so true. I’ve been working from home (full-time) for almost two years now and although it can get crazily boring and isolating at times, deep inside I know I’m really lucky to have landed this job.

  35. [...] to live where I wanted to live, and I quit my good-paying corporate job to start out on my own working from home. And so far, everything has worked out quite well. Next in line is kids, and because my wife is [...]

  36. [...] 10 Things I Have Learned From Working At Home. | My Two Dollars [...]

  37. [...] 10 Things I Have Learned From Working At Home. | My Two Dollars [...]

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  39. [...] Posted on August 27, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | 10 Things I Have Learned From Working At Home. | My Two Dollars [...]

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  44. [...] …10 Things I Have Learned From Working At Home. [...]

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