I never lasted more than a year or two in a traditional job. Even in high school, I got tired of working for “the man” when it interfered too much with my swim practices and social calendar.
Rather than stick it out, I quit and “worked for myself” teaching piano lessons. I made more per hour, and arranged matters so I only had to “work” one day a week – the day I picked.
Through college and even after, it was obvious I wasn’t going to be able to stick with anything approaching a real job. I went to grad school, got my master’s degree in journalism, and haven’t had a real job in years. Even now that I’ve accepted a salaried position with an online publisher, I still work from home and enjoy a freelance lifestyle.
Working from home is clearly the right choice for me, and maybe you, too. Here’s why:
I hate people.
Okay, I don’t actually hate people. But I struggle when I have to be around them for hours at a time. Even my son, whom I love, gets on my nerves. I need alone time to recharge. As an introvert, working around others can be extremely draining.
I prefer to work at home, in my own space. No one demands my undivided attention when I’m at home. I can ignore emails and texts in a way that I can’t ignore a coworker walking up to make small talk (which I hate and am awkward at).
Working at home allows me to go at my own pace, interact with those I want to talk to, and avoid actually having to deal with people on a regular basis. Do I sometimes have a video meeting or phone call? Sure. But at least it’s not Every. Single. Day.
I have authority issues.
I’ve never enjoyed having people tell me what to do. I can take direction, and I try to provide what my clients ask for. However, I don’t do well with a traditional “boss” in my life. I naturally rebel against authority. Not great when you have to see a supervisor each day.
Turns out, working from home is great if you are a self-starter. It’s even better for those who can problem solve on their own, and don’t need someone to tell them what to do all the time. Working from home is the ultimate adult experience. For the most part, no one is going to make you do anything – especially if you don’t have a boss. You have to be in charge of the situation on your own.
Of course, when you have authority issues, you can’t blame anyone else for your failures. If you don’t get out of bed and get your work done, it’s on you. If you can’t figure out a solution to your problem, that’s on you, too. It’s great when you don’t have to worry about a boss walking by at any time. But you still have to perform.
I value freedom and flexibility.
The two most important things in my life are freedom and flexibility. I care about freedom more than I care about money. I prefer flexibility to security. Working from home is great for me because it offers the ultimate in freedom and flexibility.
I set my own hours. If I want a spa day on Wednesday afternoon, I take a spa day on Wednesday afternoon. Ready for a nap around 11 am? It’s sleepy time! Feel like eating chocolate for lunch? No coworkers to judge me.
My dad recently retired, and that means that I am available to go to lunch with him. If my sister needs emergency childcare help, I can provide that.
Because I set my own schedule while working from home, I can be involved in my community and help my family. Sometimes it means I work on the weekend or at night, but the truth is that a “traditional” week holds no real meaning for me. The only reason I know what day of the week it is nine months out of the year is because I need to make sure my son gets to school.
Staying on top of everything.
The downside to working from home is that sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of everything. I can’t just leave my work at work. I get distracted by other things and sometimes struggle. And sometimes my family and friends, God love ‘em, don’t respect the fact that I have to work and I can’t always take care of things. Or they get upset because I have to work right now or check my email because I’m expecting something vital to my career. They get annoyed at how there are times I really don’t stop working.
Working from home isn’t for everyone. It works for me because I like the time to recharge by myself and I like the freedom and flexibility involved. To me, it outweighs a time-intensive job that might pay more. And there really is no substitute for avoiding people most of the day.
Do you work from home? Would you like to? Why or why not?