Working From Home Challenges

It’s one thing to say you would like to start an online business and work from home, but have you actually stopped to think how your life will change?

I’ve been working from home almost full-time, around 90+% of the time, now for about 7 years now. Before I was full-time my wife and I had a few work from home based businesses as well, so I can tell you a few challenges I had to face.

In this post, I will describe some of he challenges I faced, but also some of the advantages.

So there I was over 7 years ago, sitting in my cubicle wondering; why was I commuting to and from to work to sit in a cubicle, in front of my computer screen to call people on the phone?

This job can be done from anywhere; I don’t need to sit here to do it. So I wrote up a request for proposal, as I described in another blog here==>Request for proposal.

So obviously my manager ended up agreeing, and 7 years later I am still working from home 90+% of the time.

Home Office the Beginning

Home Office the Beginning

The Beginning

How did I feel at the beginning?

That was amazing! I had an extra 45 minutes to my morning and another extra 45 minutes in the afternoon, not having to commute every day. Then there were the gas and car savings. So there were time and money savings. At the time, my boys were still too young to be at home alone, so we were paying for after school daycare, but now that I was home we were able to cut that off as well, HUGE financial savings and RIDICULOUSLY more time with my boys.

So that is my blog, working from home is all good, no challenges, NOT!

Isolation

After awhile and I started getting into the routine of working from home, I began to notice being somewhat isolated. Sure I had the phone to call my colleagues once and awhile to ask a question or say hello, but it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t just turn my chair and say hey, I have a question, or hear others talking about topics that I couldn’t help myself from getting involved.

All this took some adjusting until we were provided with Windows Office Communicator. Eureka! Now I can communicate with anybody in seconds, and it still allowed me the flexibility to do my work. The Office Communicator also provided a little buffer to when you get interrupted by a phone call. Our team developed an Office Communicator (OC) and phone etiquette where we will OC them first and ask they call when they are available, that way you have time to finish what you are doing before talking with them. It gave us a way to communicate our body language if you will.

Self-Care Deficits

As time goes on and I became more accustomed to working from home, then the stage of not having to shave, or comb my hair stage started to kick in. Luckily my wife is around to keep me on track with that. Otherwise, I may only be shaving and showering for the weekends, Ewwww!

Forgetting Breaks!?

The weirdest challenge of all was that I had to remember to take breaks. Somehow in the office, it was easier. I’m guessing it was because there was always somebody in the team ready or wanting to take a break which reminded me as well. At home a much different story, I would go for hours sitting in my chair, and I would look at the time and see that it was already lunch time or past lunch time. So at first, I had to set reminders on my calendar to have it pop up as a reminder, and with time, pardon he pun, I was able to get into a routine. I now take a morning and afternoon break, so I can walk all the way to the kitchen to get a fresh cup of coffee of course, and at lunch, I get out for a walk.

Keep It Clean

Now we reach my last challenge, keeping my home office organized. When I commuted to the office and had my little cubicle, I had everything always well organized and clean. Now I did the same for my home office but over time, I seem to have gotten a little lazy on that part. As I look around, I do have some cleaning and organizing to do. I wouldn’t say it is a mess, but with my full-time day job and my evenings and weekends building my online business, things are starting to get a little out of hand. I’m sure I will come up with a way to overcome this last challenge as I have for the others.

Home Office Today

Home Office Today

Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way

I’m happy that I wrote about these work from home challenges as many of my family and friends think that it is all fun and put feet up on the desk type work that I do every day.

Although it is pretty darn close to that, I get to put the radio on the channel I like when I want. I am at home when my sons leave and come back from school. There are many more advantages.

Which brings me to my conclusion that working from home is still quite a sweet deal with many advantages and a few challenges that can easily be overcome.

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Cheers

Paul

pbworkfromhome author alternate

Posted in Business, Jobs, Work Online
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14 comments on “Working From Home Challenges
  1. Riaz Shah says:

    Hey Paul,
    I love these challenges you listed, I can totally relate to them! Especially the taking breaks part, when I set my schedule, I almost never take breaks until I reached my goal.

    I guess I’m a workaholic but in the office, I was able to go out because I was annoyed at people leaving the office to go out lol. It distracted me so I too had to go out. Awesome post man, loving it!

    • Paul says:

      Hey there,

      I never thought I would forget to take breaks when I started out working from home, but that ended up being my biggest challenge. Now I have made it part of my routine and those I work with know and respect my routine.

      Best of success

      paul

  2. Carroll says:

    Hi Paul,
    I have to admit I didnt think of all of these cons to working at home but I dont see a problem over coming them. I agree the benefits out way the cons far. I definitely liked how you did show both sides of the arguement. Today I am enjoying the benefits you discribed and I think anyone reading this should look at this also. Have a Great Day!

    • Paul says:

      Hi

      There are certainly many benefits working from home but i felt it was important to note that it can also bring on new challenges.

      Thank you for your interest and best of success

      Paul

  3. Courtney says:

    At first i thought this was about Online marketing, but you were still employed by someone else, I can see advantages for some businesses as far as overhead expenses etc.This can only apply to certain jobs. Did you have any discipline problem? Was your Boss allowed to visit you at home? Was salary or earnings based on results .I met some one recently who works for a USA company but lives on the Island,I was afraid to ask questions but desperately wanted to. With modern technology this maybe a thing of the future. What do you think?.

    • Paul says:

      Hello,

      I do believe this is the way of the future for many office type jobs. As for discipline, this was not an issue or concern for my manager as she was already having to manage staff in satellite offices and did not get to see them on any regular basis either. My particular work requires us to be registered with a provincial college where we are accountable for our quality and privacy. My work also requires us to be logged in and our manager can monitor our overall outcome levels and quality. you can read more about my work from home experiences on my about page . This work from home may not be for everyone but if setup properly can work for many.

      Cheers

      Paul

  4. Melanie says:

    Working from home definitely has its advantage! My biggest downfall is isolation and gaining weight! Working from home 12hrs shifts sitting is a lot… U finish work, and although ur at home, u still worked hard and ur mentally drained and too tired to workout so then u relax on the couch, sitting again

    • Paul says:

      Hi Melanie
      That is certainly another challenge one must work through. Although working in an office is not much better you do have to get up and go, whereas working from home is not the same deal as you mentioned. As I described it is important to take your breaks, and I try to get out for a good 30-minute walk during my dinner breaks and get up and move at coffee breaks plus just stand and move about every 20 minutes otherwise I become numb. Twelve-hour shifts are another story, I only have 8-hour shifts and I think that is the limit I could ever do. I hope you can find your work life balance as my wife wrote about recently here.
      Cheers
      Paul

  5. Alec says:

    That was an enjoyable read!

    It looks like working at home takes a lot of self-discipline. You have no boss or coworkers to watch over you, and you must remember to do everything yourself.

    For me, I like the idea of controlling my life rather than working under a boss.

    Breaks are overrated anyway. Haha, jk! I usually delineate the weekends and night to take a break from my writing and site building. This helps keep me focused throughout the work and prevents from becoming overwhelmed.

    • Paul says:

      I hear ya!

      I would prefer to work for myself as well. luckily I do have a great boss and colleagues. My plan is to slowly move my main income from my job to my business. I am fortunate to have found My #1 Recommended webhosting site to help me achieve my goall.

      Cheers

      Paul

  6. LSeulu says:

    Hi Paul,

    I have been a home based worker for the last two years and can totally relate to Melanie’s comment around ‘gaining weight’ aspects. There are days where I ponder on whether going back to the 9-5 job will help me lose weight…but after a while the benefits of working from home totally outweigh the commute, the stress and the short weekends. Discipline is an area that I still need to master. But was wondering do you have any ideas for women and how to stay fit and healthy when working from home? The temptation of eating when I feel like it is one I have yet to overcome.

    Great article!

    • Paul says:

      Hi
      I think working from home does have many advantages that outweigh some of the disadvantages. Speaking of personal experience, I try to limit what I eat. Having access to food all day is another discipline to master. Taking a walk or doing a workout during my lunch break also helps. Not having to commute allowed me to have time to join or follow up on some of my hobbies after work and this provided me with the opportunity to socialize and be active at the same time.
      Thank you for visiting my site.
      I wish ou the best of success.

  7. Natalie says:

    Love your post Paul!
    I have been working at home now for 2 years and I can say I do face the same challenges as you do. The laziness and all. Getting engrossed in your work is totally good but I guess its not that good when you start neglecting hygiene and all 🙂
    Thank you for writing this
    Have great days ahead ! 🙂

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Natalie

      I find myself having ups and downs when it comes to maintaining motivation. When I have difficult days I think about the past when I had to commute daily to work.

      That usually cures and motivates me again. Having the ability to be at home when my 2 sons get home from school is an awesome privilege I will never regret.

      Cheers

      Paul

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Paul and Brenda front page imageHello from Paul and Brenda

Combined, we have over 12 years of experience working in home based jobs and businesses. Our site will provide you with many work-from-home options. You will learn what is needed to start a home-based job or business, including how to build a website like this one.

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