Working from home sounds like the perfect situation to many of us who have to shuffle off to an office every day. No commute. Conference calls in your pajamas. What could go wrong? But the truth is, working from home isn’t for everybody. About.com will help you figure out whether you should work from home or keep going into the office.
One of the first questions to consider is whether you will feel isolated at home without the interaction with colleagues or will you feel empowered to get more work done without all the distractions. Speaking of personality, are you the type of person who has the skills to start a home business: organization, financial wits and a sales ability? You also will need good time management and email composition skills whether you are an entrepreneur or a telecommuter.
Financially, are you able to take a lower salary and maybe pay start-up costs? If you’re changing careers or starting a business, there are bound to be costs associated with that, and if you do find a position that allows you to work from home, you may have to take one with a lower salary or less hours than your current job in an office. Also, do you have time to work from home? Sure, you may save time by not having a commute or having set hours, but a home business may require a lot of time investment before you see a dime. If you’re currently a stay at home mom and would like to make extra money from home, you may have to cut certain activities like volunteering at school or attending school events to make time for a new career.
Another question specific to parents is how much childcare you will need. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can do it with little ones running around, who also require a lot of attention. You may find it’s best to wait until the kids are in school. Finally, will your family be supportive of your change? Will your spouse take on more of the home responsibilities now that you may still be at home all the time, but you are performing a job for a great deal of that time? If not, the work+home+life balance may crush you.