People, generally, don’t consider ‘Work from Home’ as ‘Work’. Then came the word ‘Freelance’, which changed the perception a little, but raised another problem. People take the word ‘Free’ seriously.
Not only people but some ‘Working from Home’ professionals tend to take their work lightly. A few years back, I wouldn’t have dared to say, ‘I am a writer and I work from home.’ Even though I was published in a couple of magazines. But, I have learned gradually (Now, I have published my first novel We Will Meet Again.)
What could be the reason that we hesitate to say that?
We don't take our work seriously, that's why we don't feel confident! Women, who are main care-giver at home, think that they have plenty of time, thus their work takes a back seat.
We are more efficient when we have limited time. We would manage in couple of hours if we need to go to the office but if we are at home, we just waste time.
Recently, Women's Web (A wonderful website for women) initiated a tweet-chat on Work From Home. I missed the chat but I read every answer. Here, I am sharing those insightful statements by some successful ‘Work From Home’ writers/bloggers/editors.
What can be the advantages or challenges of working from home?
You are your own boss: It's a wonderful feeling, undoubtedly! You don’t have to follow any instructions (Of course, you need to keep deadlines). You are not compelled to work with someone (boss) you hate! You can choose, and you can if you are good!
You don’t have to ask for a leave: You have the liberty to work according to your own convenience. Even if you have a deadline, you can always adjust. You can set your priorities for the time being.
You don’t have to commute for the office: You save time, and spare yourself from hustle bustle of traffic, and office politics. Aparna V Singh, Editor of Womens Web, says, ‘Given Bangalore's crazy commute I get more done at home!’
Balancing family life and work
If you have a toddler (like me!), it is the biggest challenge! Family comes first. Being the main care giver, family expects this from you. Sometimes, difficult situations arise and you can’t help. Rachna Parmar, Freelance Writer and Blogger, and Editor @ Money View, says, ‘It throws my schedule off when kids are at home due to unavoidable reasons, like if they are sick or if it’s holiday. It becomes difficult to stick to the deadlines.'
However, it’s somehow easy if you stay alone at home after everyone leaves for work/school/college.
Environment of your home and an office are entirely different. In office, you are more disciplined while you are at ease when you’re home.
This is a huge challenge since people think that if you are home, you are always available. Vidya Sury, Freelance Writer, Blogger and Editor, says, ‘It’s challenging when houseguests turn up. I wish I had 9 hands and three brains!’
This is hard. You are not a salaried employee and your income depends on your calibre. Sometimes, you thrive as a freelancer. Sometimes, you have to face rejections.Your income may fluctuate. The biggest challenge is that if your income is not steady/hefty, people don’t take your work seriously. People, especially family, consider your work as your hobby, and this is heart-breaking.
‘When you start working from home, be prepared to work for less money with a reputed company. Don't chase money. Chase quality assignments.’ Kanchana Banerjee, Freelance Writer and author of an upcoming novel ‘A ForgottenAffair’, suggests.
Environment matters. So, create a work space at home. A quiet, bright corner which looks like your work station. And, dress well before you start working at home. You would think why can’t you work in your pajamas? Because, dressing well puts a positive psychological effect on your mind. You feel more organized, professional and confident.
Kanchana banerjee and Vidya Sury follows this rule.
‘Self Discipline is very important,’ says Rachna Parmar.
True! Feel like a professional. So what if you work from home! Make your family understand, no matter if you’re successful or still trying, that your work is important and you need space. Choose a time when you can work uninterrupted.
‘Get out of home sometime. Else it totally kills your creativity,’ suggests Aparna V Singh.
It's a good idea. Go for a walk. It will refresh your mind plus it will give you a ‘me time’ when you can think and plan. And, maybe get a striking idea!
Most importantly, never give up! The idea of ‘Working from Home’ is not hypothetical. There are many people who work from home and are successful (I mean really successful)!