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Should You Work at Home?

Updated on May 6, 2010

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Work at Home Advice

Should you work at home? Is it a suitable career choice for you? Look over these pros and cons of working at home. I have been working at home part time for the last 6 years or so. In the last year, I have concentrated on turning it into a full-time job. So, I do have experience on the subject. Decide for yourself if working at home is the life for you.

Work at Home Poll

Do you think working at home is better than a regular 9 to 5 job?

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Work at Home Dream

Pros of Working at Home

If you have children, you can save on child care expenses by working at home. Child care has become exhorbitant in recent years, so this is a serious consideration. If you have children and work at home, you also can choose when you spend time with your children. If your kids are sick, you don't have to worry about who will take care of the kids or missing a day at work.

Working at home also saves on other normal work expenses. Work at home jobs save money on gas expenses. You may even be able to get by with one less vehicle and save on an auto payment and car insurance. You can also save wardrobe costs. After all, how much could a pair of pajamas for each day of the week cost? Just kidding. (Well, no, not really.) And you don't have to eat out for lunch every day if you work at home.

There are a lot of tax deductions that work at home businesses provide. I'm no tax expert, so I won't go into many details. But work at home businesses can deduct the costs of mortgages, property taxes, phone bills, car payments, and many more costs. Working for someone else doesn't provide these tax benefits. Of course, each individual case is different. See a tax lawyer or accountant for the details for your situation.

Your income is pretty much up to you. With most work at home jobs, the more time and work you put into your business endeavor, the more money you will make. Your income isn't dependent on convincing a boss that you need a raise.

Your work schedule is much more flexible for most work at home jobs. If you're a night owl, you can sleep in and work like a fiend while others are snoozing. Also, when special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays come around, most people who work at home can take the day off.

Cons of Working at Home

If you have children at home, it can sometimes be very difficult to work at home. The children don't understand why you can't play with them or answer every question that they may want to ask. This sometimes causes guilt for work at home parents. It can also be very distracting to try to work at home with an argument over spilled cereal going on in the next room.

When you work at home, you have to pay for your own benefits. Of course, some people who work at home have spouses with benefits for the entire family. But if not, paying for your own health costs and insurance can be expensive. Not to mention there are no paid vacations when you work at home.

Your income is up to you. In other words, you have to be efficient and organized to work at home. Not to mention you must be motivated as well. When you work at home, you can't gossip with Mary for an hour at the water cooler and bring home the same paycheck. That hour lost is an hour's worth of potential income lost. You have to force yourself to do the work everyday, regardless of your mood or energy level.

Your work schedule is very flexible. This sounds like a huge benefit, and it is. The problem is with other people. They just don't understand that working at home is actual work. When they find out that you work from home, they assume you can leave your work whenever you want. Your neighbor wants to go on an extended lunch. Your friend wants to chat on the phone for an hour. People drop in uninvited. You must be firm with people when you work at home. Let them know it is a job just like any other business. You have deadlines and you're not available around the clock. Unfortunately, this can cause conflicts in relationships with others.

On the flip side of the above, working at home can be a lonely endeavor. There is no one to listen to you complain. And even if they do, they really don't understand. You have no co-workers to help make the day go by quicker. There is no one to get a beer with after work. Your social life can definitely have a crimp put in it.

Work at Home - Yes or No?

As you look over the pros and cons of working at home, you will see a lot of the same reasons on both lists. This is because working at home is a double-edged sword. The very reasons that make working at home desirable are the same reasons that can make working at home a nightmare. It all depends on your personality, living situation, working method, finances, et cetera. Think about each of these before deciding that you want to work from home.

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