A blog for the work-at-home professional by a work-at-home professional.


The idea of working at home seems to be attractive to most people especially during these times with the rising cost of transportation.  Some think it must be pretty comfortable to work in one’s pajamas without a boss breathing down one’s neck or difficult coworkers to contend with.

However, is working at home really for everyone?  Here is a list of pros and cons to help you see if working at home is really for you:


1. You get to spend more time with your family.  You’re closer to your kids, an aging parent or anybody you need to take care of.

2. You don’t have to spend for transportation.  You save a lot of money.

3. You don’t have to go through the hassles of commuting during the rush hour.  No traffic jams.  Your office is just a few steps from your bed.

4. You don’t have to dress up, primp yourself up and wear makeup (if you’re a lady).  This saves you more time and money.  Heck, you can even wear pajamas to work.

5. You usually enjoy flexibility when it comes to schedule.  This means that you can work at the time when you are most creative.  (However, this is not true in some cases.  In my case, my work has to begin at a certain time and I have to beat some tight deadlines.)


1. Distraction is one of the worst enemies of a work-at-home professional.  There are always chores that beg to be done at home.  There are always “emergencies” that need to be attended to (Sometimes, it’s just a neighbor who needs to borrow your measuring cup).  Also, there is the temptation to engage in non-work related activities like surfing for fun, reading personal e-mails, playing games, etc.

2. There is a lack of human interaction.  Boredom and loneliness could be a problem to most work-at-home professionals.  As I’ve said in my previous post, working at home can be very isolating. Also, there is very little opportunity to engage in healthy professional competition which could contribute significantly to professional growth.

3. No work, no pay.  You don’t enjoy a regular paycheck.  If you get sick and can’t work, you don’t earn.  Most work-at-home professionals work on a per-project basis.  Sometimes, the job ends when the project ends, so looking for a new client could be a problem.

4. You own the equipment that you use.  Sometimes, you have to rely on yourself for the troubleshooting.  You don’t have technical support unless you pay for it (unless you know somebody who would be willing to render technical services for free).  You are solely responsible for the repair and maintenance of your equipment.

5. Your image is less professional.  This can be a problem for work-at-home call center representatives and virtual assistants who need to interact with the clients’ customers.  Oftentimes, when the dogs bark or the kids cry, the person at the other end of the line gets turned off, which could mean lost business for your client and, potentially, lost business for you.

Some of the CONS May be Overcome.  Here’s how:

1. Develop self-discipline.  Self discipline is the number one trait that work-at-home professionals should develop.   When you have self-discipline, you are better able to overcome distractions.  There are also some techniques to maintain focus while on the job.  For more on this, read my previous post “Focus on Focus.”

2. Have a workplace that is free from distractions and noise.  As much as possible, don’t make your bedroom your office.  Talk to your kids and tell them that your home office is off limits.  Tell your family that you should not be disturbed unless there’s a life-and-death situation.  Perhaps, the dog can stay outside while you work.  If you can sound-proof your office, that would be great.

3. Look for long-term clients and keep them satisfied.  That way, you won’t have to worry about being out of work.  If you have an account with oDesk, Scriptlance and other similar sites, you should gather positive feedback from clients.  That way, other potential clients would not hesitate to hire you or they may even look for you.

4. The key to overcoming loneliness on the job is balance.  Working at home can blur the line between your professional life and your personal life.  We should not make our lives all about work.  For more on this, read my previous post, “Loneliness: A Challenge to Overcome.”

5. Invest in durable equipments so you won’t always have to go to the computer shop to have your computer repaired.  Perform regular PC maintenance.  It would be also be good to invest in good anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. However, there are free alternatives that work well.  For a list of good Internet security and anti-virus, software click here.  I also have a blog post on PC maintenance tasks, which is right below this post.

Still not sure if working at home is for you?  Here’s an article from ABC News that lists some questions that you need to ask yourself.



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