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Take Your Robe Off And Get To Work!
Your Bathrobe may be Wrecking your Finances
Not everybody wants to make a living from home. Hard to believe that, I know. While many people do want to telecommute, there are as many people who are either smart enough to know they are just not cut out for it, or, incredibly (to me); they prefer being out in the ‘world’ all day – with other people. Yikes.
The idea of working from home is seductive. Often, I see it advertised as, “Work in your pajamas! Roll out of bed and read your email in the buff!” These ads appear alongside images of women in fuzzy pink bathrobes and slippers, sitting on a recliner with a Laptop, presumably making a substantial annual income while they luxuriate in their bedclothes, or, for the naturalist, in their birthday suits.
The typical telecommuter may occasionally lounge in a fuzzy bathrobe while they check a thing or two on the laptop, but usually only after work hours, just like regular commuters. Successful telecommuters generally adhere to set business hours, leaving fuzzy robes and socializing for the weekend.
Working from home for a company that pays you for your time and production is slightly different than working for yourself in a business that you own and operate. If you write for a living or do some other less traditional kind of work, you may be lucky enough to stay in your robe all day and work all night. I’m not that lucky–yet. Most people aren’t.
Adjusting to a work-from-home environment can be difficult for many people. The idea that you can throw in a quick load of laundry or unload the dishwasher before you start your day is a slippery slope. Friends and family often think you have more flexibility now that you are lounging in your fuzzy robe all day and tend to call you for long phone chats or favors or invite you to ‘run to the library, store, park, pool, etc.’ with them. Ahhh… the temptation…
An even slipperier slope: You can just work extra late or get up extra early tomorrow…and the rationalization begins. Before you know it, you are spending several hours at the pool, library, park, etc., staying up late to catch up, sleeping late to make up for it and then, your friend calls again the next day with an even more tempting idea – or worse- asks you to babysit–you know, just for a couple of hours--since you’re home anyway (in your robe).
Job Opportunities for Telecommuters
Career Builder often has a special section for those seeking work-from-home positions.
I'm Trying to Work!!
Not counting the chitchat time that always happens with these little two-hour events, you could easily be ‘off’ the clock for three or four hours. Before you know it, your roommate is asking for rent money and well, you know, you’ve been busy with your tan and catching up on your reading.. but...at least your laundry is all finished, right? Worse, if you are an employee of a company that pays you to telecommute, you have no work to show for the hours you were ‘on the clock.’ Uh oh. Back to the pumpkin for you!
The truths is, working from home, while a legitimate and often enviable alternative to daily commutes, is only a blessing for the people who are able to create a business-like atmosphere in their home office and stick to the schedule needed to complete the job . In other words, there is no quick load of laundry or a chat with an old friend and for most folks, that fuzzy robe stays on the hook during business hours. Thankfully, personal activities can easily be incorporated into scheduled breaks or the lunch hour, like a regular commuter, but during whatever business hours you have set for yourself, you are wise to be conducting business.
Does that mean you wear a business suit and full make-up to work in your home-office? Not for me. I do, however, shower and fix my hair and all the other morning routines civilized people do after sleeping for several hours.