I have been working from home for the most part of my career. For the last 10 years, I have worked with hundreds of clients both for short and long term projects working from home. I had short term gigs working on different offices in the Metro, but I guess it just wasn’t for me. Whatever I plan to do, working from home always seemed to be the better choice.
On my first homebased gig, it felt like I was living in a dream. Why wouldn’t it? You feel that sense of security. You no longer need to endure the daily traffic and dress up to impress coworkers that you don’t actually like. Every friend and relative that discovers what you do for a living envies you for having such a relaxing work setup.
It’s a bliss, until you realize that it actually isn’t when you get into the following situations:
People who employ homebased workers tend to think that you are always there, even outside of your working hours. Even if it’s just a small change or a typo on your report, they’ll find a way to have you return to your work desk and correct that one little mistake. I once had one client call me up to adjust his website’s sidebar by pixels and I had to drive 1 hour back home just to make that tiny fix. Fancy working more than 8 hours a day? Be my guest.
Most homebased workers don’t pay taxes and if you’re one of them, you’ve likely tried to apply for a car loan or a credit card and wonder why you got rejected. I don’t blame you, you’re probably paid just about the same or even higher than office-based people and you don’t spend money for transportation so banks should approve you easily for the reason that you theoretically have more cash in your pocket. Banks think otherwise though. If you’re not paying taxes, it’s not that easy to get a loan because they think that you have no permanent job.
You think you are your own boss, but you aren’t. Whether you are employed or a contractor, most companies would require you to work on their timezone. Around 70% of all the companies you will ever work with will require you to work in the middle of the night amd bug you every 30 minutes just to know that you are actually working.
Work while you travel? Yay, that’s fun! NO. Sometimes, you will be required to work even on days that you filed for a leave months in advance. You badly want that vacation at the beach, away from your beloved laptop but behold! The next morning you’re eating pancakes at the hotel while checking your emails. Not every client will remember that you filed for a leave, and when I say “not every client”, I mean that it happens a lot more often than you think.
It’s not really stress free to be working from home. One good point about working in an office is that the stress stays there. You log out and open the door, ride on the bus, and a day’s worth of anxiety is gone when you open the door to your house. When you work at your bedroom’s desk, it stays there most of the time. You are still stressed by the time you go to bed, and you instantly get stressed when you wake up in the morning.
Since you rarely go out, you start to lose your social life. Your friends stop inviting you because you wouldn’t likely come, and you feel bad because everyone is having fun while you sit in front of your desk looking at the photos they post on social media. It takes a lot of getting used to.
There are a lot of downsides to office working too though, the traffic, eating your choice of microwaved lunch or crappy fastfood, and that officemate that rose from the bowels of hell. Don’t lie, everybody has or had one. Wherever you want to work, that’s your call. Pick your poison.
Rafael is a digital marketing professional and blockchain advocate from the Philippines. He is the PR & marketing director at SuchApp, founder of Upranx Digital Marketing, and a man with multiple fun and entertaining hobbies.
I am a digital marketing strategist from the Philippines. I started with humble beginnings; as an SEO specialist working for a catering company. Fast forward to a couple of years later, I have now worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and working on my own business endeavors. I am a big advocate of blockchain technology, believing that it will shape the future of technology.