Working from home: the good and the not-so-good

So in a complete coincidence, here’s a post all about working from home on National Freelance Day!

Working from home brings a lot of benefits, but can also be trickier than many people imagine. Here I’ve listed what I think are the best and worst parts.

What about you? Do you agree, or do you have other reasons for preferring working from home or in an office?

Office essentials...

Office essentials…

1. Setting your own working hours

I’m an early bird. I like to get an hour of work in before breakfast, and I generally feel at my most cheerful in the early hours of the morning (I know, weird…). I know a lot of other translators who are night owls, working once everyone else is asleep. The best thing for me about working from home is that IT DOESN’T MATTER! You can work early, do something else in the afternoon, and then work into the evening. Or take a day off midweek and work Saturday instead. Freelancing = freedom J

2. Comfort

Working from home, I’m the only one responsible for choosing the heating setting, no one can judge me on the number of cups of coffee I drink (4 so far today, I think my record is 11), and if I want to play music, well then I will! I have found I work best when I am comfortable, so this is really a huge benefit for me.

3. Fewer distractions

When a deadline is looming, I can switch off from everything else and focus. I feel like that would be harder in an office where there are people coming and going, the noise level is higher, and there is generally more of a buzz which makes concentrating harder (for me personally, at least). Working from home, I set the rhythm, and that’s fine by me!

And a negative (but with a solution!)…

1. More distractions

I know, I know, I said there were fewer distractions! But working from home, it’s much easier to allow home tasks like errands, cooking and cleaning to eat into working time. My solution for this is really quite simple – good old fashioned discipline! If there is a non-work task that really needs doing, I will get it done with, but add the work time I have missed somewhere else. Self-motivation is clearly a factor here, but really as a freelancer, self-motivation is an absolute essential , so if you aren’t managing it yet, try setting yourself challenges and rewards – for example if I work for an hour without doing ANYTHING else (no twitter, no snacks), I then take a five minute break to do something I enjoy (tweeting, cup of coffee, you get the idea). I’m still a work in progress, but I’m getting better at overcoming my tendency to procrastinate!

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2 Comments

  1. To me, the biggest benefice of being able to work from home is taking care of my daughter and seeing her grow 🙂
    Also, I have experienced working in an office for my internship (a huge corporate/admin place) and absolutely hated the atmosphere there – everyone was criticizing everyone. As a freelance, you don’t have to bear other colleagues!

    • I certainly think the family issue is a biggie – not relevant for me quite yet, but maybe one day (in the far-distant future haha!). It must be lovely to be there and notice the little everyday things that working parents might miss.
      And I really like your positive way of looking at things – a lot of people complain about the loneliness of freelancing, but it just means that we get to choose our own networks of people to interact with, rather than having to put up with annoying colleagues!
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

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