Having been a “work-at-home” guy for the past decade, I think that this article hits the nail on the head. It is not as glamorous or easy as people think, but it is also extremely rewarding on a regular basis as pertains to your lifestyle.
On the one hand, you have to put up with the assumptions that all you get up at noon, work a few hours, run to the movies for a matinee, hang out a the local coffee shop, and just take it easy. As if.
Don’t get me wrong, working from home has been great. Your schedule is much more flexible, but it also means that you’re always at work. When I was single, I often found myself near deadline and still working at 9 or 10 pm. Now that I’m married and have a child, I need to make conscious efforts to (a) work when I have to focus on work or (b) stop working when it’s time to stop.
And based on my evidence of the past year, working with children and your stay-at-home wife in the house is not easy. It’s great to be with them all the time. The day I have to return to a daily 9-to-5 is going to be awful because I will miss them terribly. But until then, I have to tear myself away from them from time to time just to be able to focus.
Yes, in the balance, working at home is great. You can’t beat sitting on the deck on a beautiful Spring or Summer day in your shorts, being productive. But it takes a lot of discipline and focus in order to make it work.
A friend who also works from home has an old rambling farmhouse he lives in with his family, including a passel of homeschooled kids. His office is at the far end of the house from where the kids are most of the day. The house they owned before that was three stories and his office was in the attic. I understand now.
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