Monday, January 12, 2009

The pros and cons of working from home

As a freelance writer, I do most of my work from home. (There's the occasional journey into the real world for test drives and interviews.) Although there are some great benefits to being self-employed and working from home, there are some major downsides, as well. Funny thing is, some of the pros can just as easily also be seen as cons.

Pro: I can wear whatever I want.
Con: Because I can wear whatever I want, I often spend entire days in my jammies, sweat pants or baggy jeans.

Pro: I get to spend time with my pets and the Significant Other (who also works from home, but has a "real" job).
Con: The pets and S.O. can be mighty distracting some days, what with their constant demands for food and attention.

Pro: I can take a break and play solitaire or do a crossword puzzle whenever I feel like it.
Con: Crossword puzzles, friends' blogs, solitaire, books and the warm, inviting glow of television (including reruns on Hulu) are constantly calling to me, like sirens luring my ship of motivation to death on the rocky shores of slackerdom.

Pro: My work hours don't have to be limited to 9-5, Monday through Friday.
Con: Short turn around times are not limited by the traditional work week.

Pro: I have a fridge and cupboard stocked with healthy snacks, rather than a vending machine filled with processed fat and high-fructose corn syrup.
Con: My kitchen is just a few steps away, making it easy to munch all day long.

Pro: I don't have to deal with the gossip and drama from co-workers.
Con: It can be isolating, and when I do talk to someone face to face, I can yammer on and on.

Pro: My office can double as a guest room.
Con: My office doubles as a guest room.

Pro: I can start work later in the morning, which allows me time to work out before I start my day.
Con: I have no excuse for skipping the gym.

Pro: I set my own hours and decide what work I want to take.
Con: As I've noted above, I'm a lazy slacker and would rather follow my friends' blogs and read books 14 hours a day.

Pro: There's less stress.
Con: I never know when I'll have an actual assignment that pays, you know, actual money. It's a different kind of stress. Thank goodness the S.O. loves me enough to support me being a 40-something slacker with aspirations as a writer.


Kate said...

F*** aspirations, darling. You ARE a writer! If you have aspirations of being a more commercially successful or prolific one, that will come in time, but don't ever denigrate that you ARE a writer. It took you -- and me -- a long time to say that and we should cherish it.

Monkey said...

This is a great summary of the challenges and rewards of working from home.
I often miss it myself. Though by all measures I should be forced out of the office here in the next few months. Hooray for layoffs!