Whilst I enjoy working from home immensely, sometimes it’s not always as peachy as I imagined it would be.
Sure I get to wear my fluffy slippers and pyjamas all day if I want, but it’s not all plain sailing.
There are several drawbacks to home working that anyone thinking about freelancing from home should be aware of.
1. Distractions are everywhere
Because you’re at home, you’re surrounded by your beloved possessions.
As such it’s much easier to allow yourself to be distracted than if you were in a formal work environment.
Household chores you know you should get done or the odd job around the house all easy distractions from work, especially if you’re already finding it a struggle to stay productive.
2. You don’t always feel like working
You’re at home, your place of comfort and rest, and because of this it’s sometimes hard to get into a working mindset.
When you don’t have to get up and report to an office or workplace by a particular time, it’s very easy to turn your alarm off, roll over and sleep for another hour or so.
But it’s not very professional for a client to be unable get hold of you because you’re sleeping in. Freelancing takes a lot of self discipline.
3. Other people can get in the way
It can be hard for family, flatmates or whoever you happen to live with to understand that although you’re at home, you’re working.
Neighbours doing DIY or having noisy building work done can easily stop your ability to focus on your work.
Similarly, having to get up to answer the phone or door to a cold-calling salesperson gets very frustrating, very quickly.
4. Space can be limited
Trying to combine a living space with a working space leads to a lot of clutter.
Every nook and cranny in my ‘studio’ (which happens to double as a bedroom) is filled with paper stock, books, prints, scraps, book-binding materials, tools, paint, brushes, photography equipment, screen-printing screens… the list goes on.
Another drawback is I often require a space that allows me to work on a large scale, or get messy with materials. This just isn’t possible in a fully furnished room.
5. It can get lonely
Working from home can be quite a solitary experience, especially if you live alone.
It’s easy for cabin fever to set in when you have a big project on your hands and you haven’t left your office or studio in quite sometime.
It can also be stressful when you’re wracking your brain for a solution and don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off, or you’re unsure of how to do something and only have yourself to rely on.
I make a point of getting out of the house as much as I can to see friends and interact with other people without having to use a computer screen to do so.
I still love working from home
Despite these drawbacks, I still really enjoy being able to make a living from the comfort of my own home.
The freedom and relaxed nature of the environment is great for my productivity, plus I save on the cost of having to commute to a work place and/or pay for a studio (though I am debating renting a studio space in the near future).
If you plan to work from home, it’s important to be focussed.
It’s also worth discussing your situation with anyone you might be living with to ensure they understand that whilst you’re home, you’re working.