Working from home has now become a very popular trend and many people are choosing it over working in a traditional office.
Unless you are living alone, it would be very difficult to manage both your day job and home job. So if you are really committed to working from home, you will eventually have to quit your day job.
This decision may be easy to make if you are in your 20s and haven’t married yet, however, if you are older, have a family of your own and debts to pay off, there’s a lot to be considered before moving forward.
You will have to face many problems and challenges throughout your journey. Working from home will definitely put a lot of stress and pressure on you than you would have when doing a day job.
That’s because unlike before, you are your own boss now and you have to handle and monitor everything yourself.
There are so many YouTube videos and blog posts on how to earn $5,000+ every month by blogging or YouTubing but there’s no guarantee that things will work out for you.
I have seen hundreds of blogs and online businesses fail within the first two years due to insufficient traffic and sales. Well, guess what? It’s not that easy.
If your business is in a highly competitive niche, it will definitely take you more than two years to see a significant increase in traffic and sales.
I started this very blog 5 months ago and I didn’t earn a single cent from it yet. But I still do it. Why? Because it’s all about the long-term. I’m planning to earn more than 1 million dollars annually by the year 2022.
So yes, it will take time and you will need a lot of patience.
You won’t be able to earn much during the first 6-12 months of your online business so make sure you have enough cash reserves or a spouse that earns a decent income to survive that period.
While it’s true that online businesses are not as expensive as setting up a physical business, there still some initial expenses that you may have to take care of such as software fees, hardware fees, equipment fees, and etc. There may be advertising fees and outsourcing costs as well.
Factor in all the expenses when deciding whether or not you are going to quit your day job because once you do, there’s no coming back.
You are your own boss. No one is there to lecture or intimidate you. You are building a brand that belongs solely to you. The harder you work and the more sleepless nights you spend, the better your future.
Some other benefits of working from home are;
You are the one who decides when to start work, take a break and stop. This is not possible if you are working in an office.
Most people, including myself, hate the idea of getting up at 6:30 AM, going to work at 8:00 AM and working until 5:00 PM. When you are working at home, there are no such rules. However, it’s best if you have a fixed schedule for each day.
For example, on week days I start my work at 10:00 AM but on weekends I start my work at 12:00 PM, working all the way until 10:00 PM. Don’t be afraid to be flexible with your schedule, otherwise what’s even the point of working from home?
The majority of entrepreneurs who work from home wear casuals while working. However, research has shown that the people who work in an official attire at home are more productive than ones who wear casuals. But in the end, it’s really up to you.
Nowadays, offices are full of drama. And drama creates stress, especially if the story revolves around you.
I would be surprised if you haven’t heard your friends talk about what happened during work when you meet up. They will be like “my boss scolded me”, “she broke up with me”, “he got the promotion but I didn’t”, and etc.
My point is that there’s no such drama when working alone. You are able to dive straight into work without any kind of disturbance.
Running your own business gives you a much better chance to be rich. Neil Patel, an entrepreneur who started blogging 12 years ago is now making millions each month off of his several blogs.
The only way to counter such potential income with a regular job is if you are a specialist, actor or astronaut.
The IRS allows you to write off a small portion of your home office expenses as tax deductible.
Saves time and money spent on transportation everyday going to and coming back from the office.
Your performance will depend entirely on self-motivation when working from home. You are bound to face countless problems on your road to success and that will stress you out so much more than a regular employee.
Remember, in an office, each person is appointed a specific job to take care of but when working from home you are basically a one-man army.
Following a schedule when you know there’s no one to force or supervise you takes a lot self-discipline. Just make sure you show up everyday according to the schedule you created and don’t alter it unless you really have to.
There is no relief at the end of the day thinking that it’s time to go home because you are already there. Staying at one place the whole day everyday can easily make you depressed so be sure to hang out with friends and family regularly.
You would need a separate room to set up the office, especially if you are married and having children.
Why? Because your office room is bound to get messy with work-related documents and equipment and because you don’t want to disturb the sleep of your wife or children when Skyping a client and etc.
It’s so easy to overwork when working from home. You may not feel the time pass by. One day I slept at 3:00 AM in the morning. That’s not good for your health.
If you are working as a remote employee, your performance will be judged solely on the amount of work completed within a time-frame, rather than the man hours you put in.
Some employers believe that remote workers tend to be more distracted since there’s no one there to keep tabs on them, and therefore are less productive. This simply isn’t the case.
According to Harvard Business Review, companies that allow their employees to work from home saw a 13.5% increase in overall productivity.
The office is the place with the most distractions. Employees take regular breaks and chitchat for extensive periods of time in the break-room. Working from home actually helps them to focus more on their work rather than their mouth.
Most employers believe that remote workers are more expensive than regular workers. Yes, the employer would have to purchase and ship the necessary office furniture and equipment to the employee but later on the costs of remote workers become much more insignificant.
When employees are working remotely, businesses won’t need a large office space. This decreases the rent that has to be paid as well as other overheads such as furniture, equipment and in-office amenities.
We live in a technology-driven world. There are so many tools that an employee can use to get in touch and report his/her daily work to the employer. One of the best tools is Skype.
There are tools that even let employers keep tabs on you every few minutes without you having to do anything in form of screen captures. We will get into such tools later in the article.
Companies that understand the value of remote workers have even taken steps to improve their socialization aspects by hosting non-work related Slack channels such as family, pets, sports, games and etc, and even offsite meetings once a week or so to keep the team engaged and connected.
So no. Communication does not suffer.
First understand that data is never 100% safe. There are tools available that securely transfers information back and forth between the remote worker and the employer.
The IT team of a company can easily revoke their access to certain files and folders, only allowing access to the information they really need.
You could password-protect the files so that anyone other than the employer wouldn’t be able to view the contents inside or two-factor authentication where the remote worker would have to contact the employer to get the access code each time.
People think that remote workers never take a break because they are already at home. Staying at home has nothing to do with the amount and complexity of work to be done.
Remote workers work similarly to how a regular employee would with a standard eight-hour work schedule every day and receive leaves on Sundays.
They have the same work-life balance as a regular employee. So if you know anyone who is a remote worker, don’t disturb them in the morning because they are still doing a job. The only difference is the location.
If you are a remote worker, your employer will send you all the necessary furniture and equipment but if you are an entrepreneur who’s working from home, you may have to choose and design the workplace yourself.
Having the perfect setup will make you more productive and professional. Below is a list of things I personally recommend you to include in your own home setup. I won’t go over the obvious ones of course.
Buy a wired headset instead of a wireless one. First of all, wired headsets don’t run out of battery at the most crucial times. Secondly, they are cheaper and has more sound quality.
The only downside of wired headsets is that the wire is damageable and is sometimes irreplaceable. Also, make sure the headsets are comfortable to wear even for long periods of time.
Purchase a fast and reliable internet connection to complete your work at a quicker pace and to avoid any connectivity issues when making Skype calls and etc.
Also, be sure to have some backup connections such as mobile tethering or a dongle, in case the main connection fails.
It doesn’t matter what kind of work you are doing, you definitely need a quiet place to think. Especially if you are engaging in programming and writing.
No need to buy something really expensive. There are plenty of cheap instant coffee machines out there. It would really help you when you are feeling stressed or sleepy.
You may need water when coding, typing or speaking in a conference call for a long period of time.
These may seem insignificant at first but you will definitely see an increase in your work productivity.
There are many tools that can help you overcome certain challenges that emerge when working from home. Some of them are;
A time tracking software that allows your employer to keep tabs on your attendance including how many hours you work each day, work starting time, work ending time, number of work-breaks taken, duration of each break and etc.
The employer would also be able to see which websites or applications you visited during working hours and how much time you spent there.
This tool requires you to enter two city/timezone names and find the time difference between the two. It’s useful especially if you are working with foreign clients as a freelancer or as an online service provider.
With Skype you can chat, audio call or video call with clients easily. In addition, you could use the SkypeOut facility to make calls directly to your Skype contacts, which is handy when you are away from your PC or laptop.
A software that captures a screenshot, mouse activity and keyboard activity of your device every 10 minutes so that the employer will know what you are doing during working hours, including which applications you use the most.
You can use Dropbox to send and retrieve certain files and documents of the project you are working on. On the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur, you can use Dropbox to backup your site, images and etc.
Employers can use this web app to send a calendar containing the tasks and challenges remote workers have to complete each day.
Whereas entrepreneurs can use it to mark or register business networking events, appointments and scheduled Skype calls.
A password-management software that allows you to share your passwords and login credentials with your employer or vice versa.
The difference between using this software and just sending them the password in chat is that LastPass just shares the password, meaning, no one would be able to read it as it will be encrypted.
Managing multiple social media accounts can be a very difficult and time-consuming task. That’s where buffer comes into play.
It gives you a common platform to connect all your social accounts to in order to send or share something on all of them with just one click. You can create and schedule posts to be published later.
You can’t expect to succeed if you don’t have a well thought out plan. Things won’t always go the way you want them to and it’s impossible to precisely predict how many sales you would get but at least you will have a clear idea of where the business is heading.
An example would of a good plan would be to open a blog with WordPress about fashion and get 10,000 email subscribers during the first 12 months so that you can sell $50 leather jackets to them.
Your email subscribers are, without a doubt, your most loyal customers. Otherwise they wouldn’t have given you their email address.
You can promote basically anything to your email subscribers and get them to re-visit your blog/website.
They are the people who are most likely to share the stuff you promote on their social profiles and sites, thus increasing the reach of your brand.
Email subscribers provide feedback feedback as well. They are the people who are most likely to comment on your articles or answer your survey questions.
You might now be saying “Hey Lakindu, you talk about email subscribers but I don’t see any form to subscribe to your email list.”. Yes, I am planning to implement email subscription when I have a larger monthly traffic coming in. I just want to keep the site clean for now.
When you have a decent amount of email subscribers, focus on how you can increase the email opening and click through rates. That’s also very important.
It’s normal for a client to be nervous about the progress of their work, especially when they hire the person over the internet. To dispel their worries, make sure you share the work with them via Dropbox.
Create a folder dedicated to the client’s project and update the project files at the end of each day. Then share access to that Dropbox folder with the client so that they know you are doing the job well.
If Dropbox is not an option, you could use Google Drive.
Don’t rely on one income or traffic source as it will leave you with regression in the long-run.
Let’s say you earn an income only through Google Adsense. What will happen if you were to be banned by Adsense?
You could of course turn to other forms of income but making your website compatible with them and getting your customers used to the new system will take a lot of time, even months.
Try to diversify your income streams using affiliate marketing, sales of products/services and paid promotional ads right from the start.
Similarly, you should focus on diversifying your traffic sources. Don’t focus only on getting organic traffic from Google. What about Bing and Yandex? What about referral traffic from blog comments and forum posts? Such diversity will act as a safety net for your business.
People who work from home spend the majority of their time sitting in front of a laptop or PC . This is really bad for your physical health. Since there is no chance for your body to burn calories, you will start getting fat and eyesight issues.
Unlike in an office, there is no one to cover for you when you are sick. And staying sick for a prolonged period of time may even cost you important clients.
Go for 30-minute walks at least twice a day and stand up every hour or so to do some chores to keep your calories burning.
Personally, I make it a habit to stare at something at a distant to make sure my eyes are not always focused on close objects. And don’t forget to adjust the brightness of your computer screen to reduce eye strain.
Speaking of health, you should take care of your mental health as well. When you are working from home, you are your own boss, meaning, you have to handle everything on your own. This will put a lot stress and pressure on your shoulders.
Make sure you get at least 6 hours of sleep everyday. It’s easy for you to get caught up in work and work until 3 AM.
Sure, you can sleep until 9 PM to cover the 6-hour requirement but that sleeping pattern is irregular to your body, meaning, it may cause severe headaches sometimes after waking up.
Working from home has certain benefits as well as drawbacks. It’s a good choice if you want to make more of your time available to your family and earn more. Let’s be realistic, a regular job won’t get you anywhere even if you work until you are 50.
Starting your own business from home is the best way to get off the ground as an entrepreneur and work your way up to the top leagues.
Just make sure you don’t exhaust yourself and make sure you hang out with your friends at least twice a week so that you won’t feel lonely and depressed. Remember, we are all human and we need human interaction to stay human.
So what’s your conclusion? Will you work from home or continue your day job? Let me know in the comments section below.