The Pitfalls of Working From Home
When I made the big decision to leave my job and become self-employed I was very nervous about the benefits I was going to miss out on by not being employed any more.
My biggest concern was the lack of social interaction and being part of a team. With a background in Hotel Management and then Human Resources and Training, I was always part of a big team and I knew this would be the one thing I would miss the most. I needn’t have worried!
My training business means I meet people but they tend to be individuals that I train over a period of a day or longer and I may never see them again. However in my Direct Sales role I am part of a big team of Consultants throughout the UK. We have the chance to meet up once or twice a year at National Conference and the Leadership Event at a National level, and we also have our own teams that where we meet on a monthly basis. The UK team has its own Facebook group where we interact with each other even though it is not always face-to-face. Last year I had the pleasure of attending a year-long training course with an amazing group of ladies; we offered each other support, advice and as clichéd as it sounds, we have all become great friends as well as colleagues, through this interaction. So no I haven’t missed out on being part of a team, I was lucky with my career choice and feel that I am part of a closer-knit team now than I ever have been before!
As I am self-employed I don’t get the usual benefits of paid holiday and sick leave however as I work from home, if I have a nasty cold or am generally feeling unwell, I can work a different day or longer hours to make up for the time I missed. I can just grab my laptop and work in comfy clothes and no make-up and no-one knows! As for holidays, well yes I don’t get paid for my holidays but I have the huge advantage that I can take them whenever I want without having to ask permission from a line-manager and fitting in with everyone else’s requests. When I worked in Hotels I didn’t get to have Christmas and New Year off – now I stop working in the third week of December and don’t start back again until about the second week of January. How many employed jobs let you do that?
With the change in legislation with employers having to offer all employees a pension scheme, I am missing out on that opportunity; however I have my own pension scheme that I contribute to. This is one small downside compared to the huge positives I have seen from changing my lifestyle.
One pitfall of working from home that I hadn’t really considered when I started out was the level of distractions you can have. Facebook is an obvious one however there are other distractions that you have to be aware of. Another would be the fact that it’s easy to grab the post that the postman has just delivered and then you spend valuable work time flicking through the clothing catalogue or similar. You have to be very self-motivated and structure your time wisely and effectively.
With my husband working full time and me working part time, we see our roles as building a legacy for our family. I am a working mum (albeit from home) so I am instilling good work ethics in my children, I am there most of the time for school runs, assemblies, plays, sports days and parents evenings and I know my children benefit from having me around and I wouldn’t change it at all.
To sum it up – I have a fab job that I love, I don’t have anyone hassling me to meet important deadlines and do you know what …………………… I’m the best boss I’ve ever had!