Last week I discussed my top ten favorite things about working from home. But as many upsides as their are (and there are actually way more than ten), there are just as many downsides. So today, I’ll continue with last week’s theme and discuss the Top Ten Worst Things About Working From Home.
1. So much to do, so little time.
Sometimes I find myself a bit overwhelmed with everything I’d like to do. It stresses me out. I want to make boot cuffs. I want to make fingerless gloves. I have to find time to make seasonal items. But I also have to package up all the orders, and make sure that my best sellers are available. Just thinking about everything I could be doing right now, instead of writing this blog, is causing me to panic a bit. I’ll be alright, but I could really use just a few extra hours in the day.
2. What do you do all day???
I know that no one takes my little shop very seriously. No one but me, that is. I can work from 6am until 11pm, and feel very accomplished on my own, but the people around me just see that I’ve spent the entire day watching TV on the couch. I haven’t had a real day off in years. Not that I’d want one; I’d be terribly bored. But it’d be nice if the people around me could see all that happens here on a daily basis, and that it’s not just sitting around watching TV all day. Sure, the TV is on, but while it is I’m knitting, or blogging, or posting on Facebook, or promoting my shop on any number of other sites, or even reading about how to promote my shop. There is a lot of work involved in this venture, but most people just think I’m lazy.
3. Lack of social interaction.
I’m an introvert. I don’t like people. Which is why this situation fits me perfectly. But, even being so introverted, there are times when I crave the presence of people. My boyfriend is great, and my cat is a wonderful listener, but sometimes I need to be around other people. So I wait tables at night. If I didn’t have my “day job”, I think I would lose my mind. I’ve always said to the people I work with that even if I was a millionaire, I’d still wait tables. I need to have an excuse to leave the house at least a couple days a week, and since I hate (with a capital “H”) shopping, I need to work. I could probably quit and be ok financially, because I don’t really need a lot of money to live, but I’d be afraid of losing touch with reality. Facebook isn’t a good substitute for face-to-face contact, at least for me.
As much as I love naps (if you have read last week’s Top Ten list, you know how much I love naps), it’s way too easy to just lay down and go to sleep. And sometimes I run out of energy by 11am and could sleep for hours if I let myself. Or I could spend hours looking at Pinterest. Or the Etsy forums. There are so many things that I could do that seem like a huge waste of time. And some days, I allow myself to do those things. But most times, if I spend a lot of time on the computer or napping or whatnot, I feel bad about it and end up beating myself up for not being as productive as possible.
5. No benefits.
Now this one isn’t as much of an issue now, since the Affordable Care Act took effect (which I will discuss at length in another entry). But this job doesn’t come with any benefits at all. I don’t have a 401K (I do, actually, but for the life of me I can’t figure out where it is). There isn’t any life insurance. Etsy doesn’t offer a health plan. Thank god for Obamacare, because otherwise I’d be paying hundreds of dollars a month just for the minimum. Worker’s comp would be great, but that doesn’t exist either. Carpal tunnel is a pain in the ass.
6. What is this “sick time” you speak of?
Or vacation time. If I’m sick, my “boss” (my “boss = me) still expects me to work. If I’m on vacation? Yup, still working. Not that I mind, but still.
7. Lack of a consistent income source.
Now this isn’t an issue with working from home, specifically. It’s an “I own a small business all by myself” issue, really. Obviously there are times when my shop is busy, and times when it’s very very slow. The few months around the holidays are always going to be busy for my original shop, since I sell items that are more suited for cold weather. And the summer is always going to be busy for my second shop. But the in between times? I can go months in between without making more than $100. Thankfully I know how to save my money, and I have my “day job”, but if I didn’t I’d be screwed. Or homeless. Probably both.
8. My ass hurts.
No, not like that. Sickos.
I sit pretty much all day, every day. I’m really good at sitting. Sitting doesn’t burn a whole lot of calories. But since I’ve lost all that weight, I’m not so much worried about the calories anymore. I am, however, worried about how badly my bony butt hurts after a long day of sitting on it. And how stiff the rest of my body gets. This is where my “day job” becomes a benefit because I’m very active there, and I try to go to the gym after my shifts to balance out all the sitting I do during the day. If I didn’t have to leave though, I’m not sure I would ever get enough activity. I’d probably end up weighing 600lbs. It’s a vicious cycle.
9. I have no boss.
Other than myself, of course. It’s great, really it is. But as awesome as being my own boss is, it becomes hard to keep myself on track at times. Again, the distractions are numerous. And finally…
10. I have no schedule.
This one is an upside and a downside. I have a lot of freedom. But when does it become too much freedom? I try to schedule my days as much as I possibly can, because I need the structure. But if I don’t get that pair of yoga socks done by 7pm? Oh well. It’ll get done eventually. I develop kind of a “meh” attitude about things sometimes. Not good.
Anyway, I’m not the only one who feels that there are both upsides and downsides to working from home. Apparently The Oatmeal agrees with me. How about you? What do you think are the worst parts of working from home, or being your own boss?