Working from home can be lonely and potentially frustratring. Before you start your job search, ask yourself five questions to see if you're cut out to work from home. #workfromhome #workingfromhome #selfemployment #WAHM
Work & Blog

Are you Cut Out to Work from Home?

How many of you have ever wondered if you’re cut out to work from home? Plenty, I bet. I know I’ve heard multiple people tell me they don’t know how I do it, or that there’s no way they could. They might be right. They might also be selling themselves short. Working from home isn’t this mysterious, impossible task. Well, I take that back. It’s a fight for survival when you work at home with kids. But for most people, it’s just a job with a different setting. So, if you’re considering the jump from an office to your kitchen table, here’s how to determine if you really aren’t cut out to work from home.

Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Do I need coworkers to make me work?

I think a lot of people won’t consider working from home because they think they’ll get bored, and that is a very valid point. But ignore whether you’re a people person or not for right now.  Most work-from-home jobs have chat options set up, whether you’re an employee or a contractor, so you aren’t cut off from the world. Actually, you might get to interact with more of the world, and that’s kind of cool. BUT (big but) if you’re using your coworkers for more than chatting and don’t do anything if they’re not bugging you to do it, you might have a problem. So, when you’re trying to figure out if you’re cut out to work from home, don’t ask yourself if you’ll miss people. Ask yourself if you need others for motivation, or if you’re only there to chat.

2. Can I survive without an IT department?

computer

I asked my husband a question about coding the other day. He’s an avid gamer and built his own computer, so I thought this would be a reasonable question. Turned out, nope, he had no idea. He said I’d moved past him in that part of technology. Now, I’m not suggesting you’ll need coding in particular (that’s more for bloggers and self-employed with websites, not employees), but when you work from home, you have to get comfortable with technology. That’s not to say there isn’t help available. Anytime I have problems in Quickbooks, for example, they’ll either walk me through it or remote log in to my computer. But you will have to teach yourself a lot, and you’ll have to fix a lot of little glitches. Not comfortable with that? You’re probably not cut out to work from home.

3. Can I tell the difference between urgent and regular correspondence?

When you work from home, you get emails and chat notifications all day long. You have to answer them all. But, you also have to know if you need to answer something immediately or if it can sit for a few hours while you work on something else. There are ways to manage this – lots of them – but some people just won’t pay attention to them. This can be especially difficult if you have to stay logged in to a chat box all day (think Slack). Are you old enough to remember when chat rooms first started? Well, these messenger systems are basically like that, so you have to be able to catch the important stuff through the spam.

4. Do I need to be micromanaged?

Everyone’s immediately going to say no to this, but some of you are liars. Some people need constant supervision. They just do.  I once worked with a lady who needed to ask questions every fifteen seconds or so to make sure she was doing things right, even though she’d worked there for years. If you are that lady, stay in the office. If you’re trying to get away from that lady, working from home is a great idea.

5. Will I go outside if I am cut out to work from home?

Sometimes I think I would never leave my house if I didn’t have kids. Other times, I’m pretty sure I’d never be home if I didn’t have them. I’d finish my work so fast! As an independent contractor, I can work whenever and wherever I want, so I would probably spend a lot of time on patios waiting for clients to call. As it is, I do attend meetup groups and go shopping. That’s actually a lot when you’re toting kids around, so I don’t feel like I’m locked away from the world. Even if you’re an introvert, there are some pretty important benefits to both going outside and being social. If you already have a hard time with those, it’s probably not a good idea to hide yourself away even more than you already do.

So, those are the questions you should first ask yourself when deciding if you’re cut out to work from home.  If you’re missing one of those attributes, you can probably work on it and still be successful in a remote position, but more than that would be difficult. I’ll have more to say about the transition later, so if you want to keep up, sign up for my newsletter on the right sidebar and I’ll send you a monthly update. Seriously, just once a month, I’m too tired to send more. Do you already work from home? If so, do you have any questions to add to my list?

Working from home can be lonely and potentially frustratring. Before you start your job search, ask yourself five questions to see if you're cut out to work from home. #workfromhome #workingfromhome #selfemployment #WAHM Working from home can be lonely and potentially frustratring. Before you start your job search, ask yourself five questions to see if you're cut out to work from home. #workfromhome #workingfromhome #selfemployment #WAHM

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9 Comments

  1. I love working from home and do well at it but I could use an IT guy once in a while. I truly love being on my own and working on my terms. I also like having complete control over what is put out.

  2. These are all really interesting to consider before working from home. I was a preschool teacher, then when I had a baby became a stay at home Mom. Now that all three are in school all day I have transitioning to blogging. It gives me flexibility to be there for my kids but still provide some income. I am also really spoiled because my husband is a software architect, so I still have in-house IT department. 🙂 But the days do drag sometime being alone all day. It is for sure not for everyone.

  3. I have been working from home already 5 years ago. It has its perks but is not for everyone as you need to have a set schedule and not wear pijamas! =)

  4. I would like to work from home for two days a week. It takes 3.5 hours from where I live. I am not sure whether or not I would have the discipline that it would require. I guess that this is happening more and more these days. Discipline is a mandatory skill.

  5. You have a lot of self discipline to be able to work from home.
    I would like to try for a short time. I wonder if I have the Self discipline to do this long term

  6. I tell my friends that blogging isn’t the easiest thing to do, they don’t believe me at all. I tell that it can be a full time job where you are working on a blog post or networking the whole day.

  7. I worked several years in the corporate environment until 2016 when I just told myself enough is enough! I resigned my job and decided to go full time blogging and doing some side hustles online. I am loving it so far! I don’t have to spend on gas to drive to and from work. I save money because I don’t have to buy clothes every so often. I control my own time and what is best is I don’t have to attend those boring monthly business report meetings!

  8. I love working at home – I do sometimes need a partner to hold me accountable for the goals I set for myself, and my time management needs some serious help. LOL! So in that respect working at home can be enjoyable, but you have to have serious discipline and set goals or nothing would get done. Love all your tips – Thanks so much for sharing!!

  9. Victoria says:

    This is a really good article. I’m honestly concerned about working from home for a few reasons but mainly, I hear oes difficult to separate work from personal. I’ve heard of people workout longer than they should because its all right there. Have you struggled with this? How does balancing your time work for you?

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