Working
Home-Bound

Working from home can sound like a dream come true with no commute and no one telling you what to do (theoretically). You own your own schedule. You can make appointments in the middle of the day. You sleep in if you feel sick, and work late into the night if you're so inclined. But before you think working from home is the most ideal situation, SheKnows Living columnist, Alexis James, has a few expectations to keep in mind.

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There are definitely things I wish someone had told me to consider before taking the plunge as a work-from-homer, despite having a personal office outside my home. I may not have really listened because I tend to be stubborn and insistent on doing something once my mind's been made up. But having prepared for these realistic expectations, I may have been better off...

Location

Figuring out where you will work is incredibly important when working from home. At the very least, you'll likely need a space that's set aside where you can keep your laptop/computer, notebooks, phone, and other supplies. It's great to be able to work from a home office – a room that's off-limits to anything that's not work-related. Just remember that this space must be for work only and free from distractions like TV and your home phone.

If you can swing an independent, private office, I highly recommend it! As I mentioned, I did have an office away from home for a few months. It was so worth it. But now I have puppies to stay home with. Although I hope to one day get an office again. It's a great way to force yourself to get out of the house, meet other people, and keep a somewhat regular schedule.

Viability

There was a period of about six months when my husband and I both worked from home in a 300 square foot apartment. Needless to say, one of us typically spent most of our days at a coffee shop, but regardless, this wasn't a long-term solution. For about six months after that, we each had our own, private offices, which was the most ideal situation. Then we got puppies and gave up our offices to be home with them more. Fortunately, we also moved to a bigger place that enabled us to both have our own individual desk space as well. It's still not a perfect situation, but it's workable. So what is workable for you? Can you work in the midst of rough-housing dogs or screaming kids? Do you need to convert that extra bedroom to an office? Should you look into renting office space?

Remember why

Every work situation has its ups and downs, its good days and bad, and even good months and bad! I've faced several such cycles during my time as a self-employed consultant, but I'm so in love with the self-employed lifestyle that it would be really hard for me to give up. When you come across difficult times or encounter frustrating roadblocks, remember to keep it all in perspective.

So if you do start to work from home, don't get discouraged. Something may work OK for a period of time (like working from a 300 square foot apartment!), but after a while you might need a change. Be aware of these phases, and don't let them get you down. If you plan right, working from home can be a great experience!

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Comments on "Working from home: Is it a career option for you?"

Miu Miu Online March 25, 2013 | 9:45 PM

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Lauren March 16, 2013 | 3:48 PM

Working from home is nice (I've been working from home for a year now), but I do miss the social interaction, lunches with coworkers, and going on walks.

Erin January 21, 2013 | 12:34 PM

Motivation is good. I like that tip. If you're the type to procrastinate, working from home may not be for you. Are you dedicated enough to wake up early everyday and set office hours?

Leslie August 15, 2012 | 8:48 AM

I think it's so important to be motivated, just like the article states. It's HARD to get up at a certain time and work full well knowing you can sleep in an extra hour since you're your own boss. Staying motivated and setting a specific schedule is necessary in order to work from home. Great article!!

shirleyhodge December 28, 2009 | 5:19 AM

i would love to find a legimate job to work from hom i am very interested in working at home. please help me to find the right job at home. i work on computers i been a people person for a very long time in customer service.

Barry Wheeler January 28, 2009 | 10:57 AM

telecommuting is popular these days, as many firms and businesses embrace the technology. Marketing jobs that embrace this has become common place in job ads, making it great for people who work in remote locations to find employment. Marketing, Business & technology News

work at home January 21, 2009 | 7:58 PM

interesting article. a key to working at home is to find something you are good at and that you truly enjoy. this will help you to focus while working at home

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