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Initially, I wanted to work at home to be with my children. Now that they are older, people ask if I plan to go “back to work”. After I get over the annoyance at the insinuation that what I do at home isn’t work, I tell them no. I’ve worked outside the home in the past and I can tell you that working from home has many more perks and advantages that I don’t want to give up. Here are 10 reasons I think working at home is awesome!
1. Stay home with kids. My kids are older now (one in college and one in high school), but I’m still available after school or during breaks. Especially now that they’re older and getting ready to leave the nest, I’m glad for any time I get with them.
2. Sleep. I love sleep. I like to sleep in and I like naps. I try not to do both in the same day, although it’s happened. Because I control my schedule, I can sleep late or take a siesta in the afternoon and the boss won’t fuss.
3. Do what you want, when you want, how you want, where you want. I enjoyed my work as a social worker, but I didn’t like always having to work under the constraints of someone else’s time and rules. Now I focus on doing work I like to do, can set my own schedule, and deliver my work in the way I see fit. Plus, I can work where I want, whether it’s at home, in the local java joint or on the beach!
4. Save money. I’ll admit, I don’t like budgeting and managing money very much, but it’s a necessary part of creating or finding a way to work at home. One big surprise I got when I first wanted to work at home and ran the numbers, was that I spent 75 percent of my income on work-related expenses. When I started working at home, I earned a LOT less than I had in my job, and yet we had more discretionary income. You can read my post “Can You Afford NOT To Work-At-Home” for information on running the numbers.
5. Improved self care. Although working at home has the potential to lead to weight gain (less activity, more sitting, and easy access to food), because you eliminate the commute and have a flexible schedule, you can fit in exercise. Further, with access to a kitchen, you can whip up healthy meals. If you’re sick, you can take time off without asking permission from a boss. Or if you’re only a little sick, you can work on a laptop from bed.
6. Everyday is casual Friday. I’m not called the Pajama Mama for nothing! Unless you’re doing web conferences, what you wear in your home office is whatever makes you comfortable. Some experts suggest that you go through the process of getting dressed for the workday even when working at home to help you feel professional, but “dressed” can mean jeans and t-shirt. I usually roll out of bed, brush my teeth and hair, make coffee, and start working. About two hours in, I’ll stop and exercise, and then shower and dress (usually jeans or shorts and a t-shirt). I never wear a dress or pantyhose anymore unless I’m going to a wedding or speaking at a conference.
7. Everyday is bring your pet to work day. Not only can you work with your kids, but you can have your pets there too. I have two cats who keep me company.
8. Reduced office drama. If you’re an entrepreneur, you can practically eliminate workplace drama. As a freelancer or telecommuter, you may still have a little bit, but it comes mostly through email, so it’s easier to ignore or put off until you can better handle it.
9. Design and decorate your office any way you want. My office is loaded with Mickey Mouse pictures, posters and doo-dads. I’ve also got a comfy chair and a fireplace.
10. No one breathing down your neck. There’s no pretending to look productive for the sake of a boss. Even telecommuters and freelancers who are more accountable to an employer than entrepreneurs, avoid having a boss breathing down their neck because their work is based on results, not on whether or not they’re sitting in their cubicle. That also means no calling in sick or asking for vacation time.