WORKING FROM HOME IS NOT AMAZING AS IT MAY SEEM, AND I’M TELLING YOU WHY.
by Sara Galluccio
Do you really work from home? How lucky! You can manage your time and work whenever you want
I’m quite confident that all freelancers have been told something like this more than once in their life. Of course, working from home is somehow amazing: you don’t need to travel back and forth every day, wasting time and money, and you can adapt your schedule without running on errands late in the afternoon after you finally got out of the office.
I also believe, though, that all frelancers – before starting their business – have imagined themselves working from a wonderful beach, happy with themselves for finding a way of earning money while feeling on holiday 24/7.
…seriously, is it really like that?
Some of the advantages listed above ARE real. But there are also many negative sides that you may not think of, but that sooner or later you’ll have to face. And the time saved in not-commuting often goes wasted in something else.
I am thinking of the days spent on the couch with my laptop (one of the disadvantages of living in a small flat) and of the things my peers told me, and I tried to list some of the most common situations that may lower the concentration and productivity of the “lucky freelancer working from home”.
Honestly: when you have a boring project to carry on, or it’s one of those days that you don’t really feel like working, wouldn’t you rather clean all the house instead of doing what you really have to do? By dinner time your apartment will be clean and tidy, but also the file you were supposed to work on will be clean. Spotless. Even untouched. Which – I’m sure you know – is not so good.
The typical freelancer lives with an indefinite number of cats and, when deadline is just around the corner, does NOT waste time taking off his/her pajamas, showering or getting out to meet people. Absolutely not. And if you spend more than two or three days in a row in such conditions, then trust me: you do have a problem. Or you’re gonna have it soon.
Unlike the asocial ones up here, some freelancers may even manage to marry and set up house: which implies that there might be some kids to look after. Kids that will need to be driven around to school and to countless afterschool activities (‘cause they are allowed to socialize, aren’t they?) and entertained when they’re home. This means that, unless you give them very strong sleeping tablets, you won’t be able to dedicate more than 30 consecutive seconds to a project. Also, if you’re home the whole day it gets a bit more difficult to ask grandparents to help, since normally people think that if you don’t have to go to the office it will be easy for you to manage all the everyday activities for the family. While working as well. Yes.
Some people tend to think that working from home is something very similar to a hobby, so they won’t hesitate asking favours such as waiting for the deliveryman to deliver a parcel, going to the post-office for a certified mail letter or driving the kids of half the neighbourhood to a birthday party. It’s hard to say no but we have to, if we want to keep working. Otherwise we’ll soon end up having A LOT of free time…
If you’re lucky enough to live in a standard-size flat, you will have room for a decent desk and a good chair that will allow you to survive long working hours. But if you’re like me you’ll end up working from the couch and, in a few weeks, you’ll probably develop a backache and pains in the joints. And why not some bedsores, as well?
GOOD NEWS! A SOLUTION EXISTS, AND IT’S CALLED COWORKING
If the honeymoon time with your couch is over, and you’re fed up with all the discomforts listed above, you’ll be happy to learn that – with the coworking solution – you can get your own desk in a shared working environment for a limited amount of money – which is normally much lower than the cost you would pay of a full office.
The advantages are that you can access a fully equipped office (that you won’t need to fit out), enjoy the maximum flexibility in working hours and none of the disturbance you can get at home. Also, as Corinne McKay pointed out in her post, when you have a clear-cut working space you can more easily concentrate on work while at work, and on your private life while you’re out of the office.
Last but not least, since nowadays networking seems to be a vital part of freelancers’ professional life, keep in mind that - from chance encounters between professionals - wonderful cooperations may arise!
Curious about coworking? Get in touch and come visit us!
Sara Galluccio - Editorial translator from English and Spanish into Italian, tireless reader, newbie to blogging. Fond of travelling, nature, sport, food and wine. A real animal lover and in a weird relationship with technology, she hates wasting time and can’t wait for teleporting to be part of her everyday life. The World of her dreams is based on the respectfulness of all the living creatures inhabiting it.
"A different language is a different vision of life." Federico Fellini