The pros and cons of working at home?
Why I work from home
I hated having to go to school. I liked meeting friends at college, but hated having to sit in a prison-like ambience with them. I used to rush home everyday, to be in a place where I was monarch of all I surveyed.
Through school and college, I was clear that I would work from home, sweet home, and not go to work as a kind of feudal slave. I wanted to be an artist or a writer or something. I wanted freedom of mind, body and soul.
But my father thought otherwise. He was an engineer who worked in the same company for 33 years, growing from draftsman when he started, to manager of a department by retirement. He made me do my diploma in engineering and then got me a job with his ex-boss who was the sole agent for intel products in India then. The enterprising chap also ran a nursery on the side, the plant and flower kind, not one for snotty brats.
Well, he was working from home, having a great time, while I was working in his garage, having a not-so-good time! He took a nap from two to four every afternoon, and I thought that that was the life! Not mine!
After working in another small outfit as a sales representative of metallurgical equipment, I joined a creative shop, learnt the ropes, and quit to become a freelance cartoonist. No looking back since then! This was in 1989.
1. You have to do a lot of house work. I gave the baby his baths, and was the designated bottom-washer.
2. Friends and relatives drop in at busy times.
3. You don't see colleagues or clients much.
4. You are roped in by the neighbours as plumber, electrician and oddjob person.
5. There's the frightful risk that you will take frequent naps.
6. You might not take proper care of your appearance as people who go to work do.
7. People will envy you.
Take care to plan for all the above, and you are all right!
The Pros and poetry!
1. No bossy boss, only the spouse.
2. Lots of time for family, especially the kids.
3. Can take a power nap when you want to.
4. Flexible hours. I have more time for work: A chunk early morning, another prelunch, then post lunch, and before bed.
5. Can mix play with work. I take breaks by playing video games.
6. Can get people to help you with some work.
7. You save a lot of money by not travelling to work. You are also greener, as you did your part in not polluting, and not using fuel.
8. Fewer accidents happen at home.
9. You are around for family emergencies.
10. Your spouse is not jealous of your attractive colleagues.
11. You won't want to retire.
12. You are always around for friends.
Notice how some things are listed in both pros and cons? Ah, that's how a shift in attitude can turn disadvantages into advantages!
The 9 to 5 myth
Going to a day job started after the industrial revolution, before which potters used to sell their own pots,artists used to paint in their studios, and carpenters had their own workshops.
This 9 to 5 business has been deeply embedded into most of our minds. Add to that the backward thinking that home is for women, and you find feminists not wanting to work from home and chauvinist men following suit. Working from home isn't considered proper work. What rot!
This is the ideal way to mix family and work, so you have time for both.
Addition: Patience is the key
One important point I forgot to touch on, but better late than when I'm Late Mr!
When I started out, I earned very little and had to go round cold canvassing for work. This applies to almost all bizzes, not just home ones. After 20 years or so, I didn't have to hunt, work came to me automatically, and the quality of orders had also increased.
I'm not a good bizman, I don't go out and ask for work anymore, I don't do political, flowery talks, I don't mix with peple I don't like. In spite of all this, my biz has grown over the years. If you are better at it than me, you will be successful faster! And almost anyone can be better than me!
Money management for our kind
Home biz people have to cut their budget style according to their payment frequency cloth. This is very important, dear bro or sis in the same boat!
If you earn a regular retainership or a consultancy fee, then you can manage your funds like a salaried fellow. If not, if you have irregular income like me, then you have to manage your finances differently.
If you have an irregular income like me,
1. Don'y buy things on instalment. Buy when you have a lot of money.
2. When you get a fat payment, make fat repayments to credit card bills.
3. Save for a rainy day. You must have atleast saved for three months of no work. Six is ideal. When you can, do start investing for a ten year period.
4. Invest in highly liquid products. I put my money in mutual funds which can be broken and entered into after six months, or in good stock.
If you think of anything else, please tell us in the comments section.
More by this Author
The 16th century Spanish mystic St John of the Cross had a vision that he had translated onto paper. He had drawn the crucifxion from an unusual angle and when Salvador Dali saw this drawing, he was inspired. The Christ...
Dali's paintings make a great intro to surrealism and modern art. Look at this one. If not for the cubes, Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) would look, at first glance, like an old master's piece. Surrealism is the...
Twenty years ago, a struggling actress attended a photoshoot with other models in a London Studio. The shoot was for reference pictures for The Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual, a collection to be used by artists...