Joys and Pitfalls When You Work From Home In the 21st Century 

It's amazing how time flies, we are already over a decade and a half in the 21st century. I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I had dreams of the 21st century as something super advanced and modern.

The reality is that most things have remained the same; like the song goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. But there is one thing that has changed drastically, and it is...

Your ability to work from home online and make a living from the comfort of your own house

In this century so far, the possibilities of generating an income by doing online jobs and getting involved in legitimate online business opportunities are actually staggering. Some people have even become millionaires from their houses simply by getting themselves involved in very good home business opportunities that are legitimate, available to anyone and pay very well.

Given that this is a fact in these modern times, let's take a look at the joys and perils that someone who works from their house needs to keep in mind to be successful.

I don't know about you, but it's always been my dream not to be tied to a geographical location and yet be able to make a decent living.

Up to the beginning of this century, when people thought of terms of not being attached to a place to make a living, people would immediately think of roaming sales people, who constantly moved from one place to another to make a sale, or maybe circus people, who were like nomads, and stayed in a place for a couple of weeks before moving on to a different town.

As you can see, the world back then was definitely not what I am talking about when I talk about a work from home world. It was more like being attached and tied to a forever moving workplace.

Number one, you couldn't decide where you'd work from. You were attached to were your customers resided.

Take for instance the circus case. After a couple of weeks in a place, or if the city was relatively big, maybe even a couple of months, you would have to move on, because the attendance would reduce.

You'd have to move together with the circus on to a different city, you were FORCED to do that!

Something similar happened if you worked in sales. Once you offered something to a person, it didn't make sense to revisit that same person and offer the same thing, at least not in the next week or maybe month. It made no business sense, so you were forced to move on to different neighborhoods or cities.

In the case of others, the equipment necessary to generate an income forced them to stay in one place. Think manufacturing enterprises, you couldn't and still can't move those huge machines that easily. So, if you got a job at one of them, you were tied to that particular place. No way around it.

But today, due to the fact that we're living in the Information Age, we can choose were we work from, and many people have chosen and decided to work from home or from anywhere actually.

Your location is irrelevant if your work is online. As an Information Worker you would only need your laptop and access to the internet to be productive, because you'd have some type of online business going on. And that gives you freedom, the type of freedom people could only dream about in times passed.

As you can imagine, there are lots of JOYS of working from home online, but when your goal is to earn a living through your work at home, you also must be aware of the PERILS that are waiting from behind every turn. Only by being aware, you can avoid them and really concentrate on the benefits brought on by the joys.

Let's start on a positive note and talk first about the joys:

The Joys Of Working From Home Online (or Anywhere For That Matter)

Freedom:  There is a very popular definition of freedom is: "Do what you want, when you want it and with whom you want". That's the kind of freedom I'm referring when I talk about work from home online.

It's freedom to set your own schedule, to be your own boss and be able to decide when to take a day, a week or even a month off without having to ask for the blessing of a difficult boss that doesn't care about your needs and desires.

If you are a night person and you are more active in the evenings, you'd be free to work until 3 o'clock in the morning if you want, the online world never sleeps. You'd have the freedom to work whenever you want, day or night. It will be your prerogative.

Improved Family Life: Another great benefit of the freedom from working at home is the fact that you will be much closer to your family on a day to day basis. If you have small kids, you will be part of their lives. And they will be part of yours. You will not have the regrets of not having been there as they were growing up and you will not miss any of their milestones just because you had to work.

Control: Another amazing joy of having the ability to work online from home, is that you will be in complete control of your life. You will be able to control who you work with and when. As mentioned in the freedom section, you also will control your time.

Lack of control of someone's life is one of the main reasons for falling in a depressive state. But having the feeling that you are in control, will help you boost  your self esteem and will surely develop in you a very positive attitude towards life and what's possible.

Savings: Not having to commute means that you don't have to spend on gasoline. It also means that you will not have to spend on expensive clothing or shoes. I mean, you could work in underwear if that's your thing. The less you use your vehicle, the less wear and tear it will have, which can also result in less expenses.

You also won't have to spend extra on expensive meals at restaurants or paying for delivery. You know how it is, just because your office is downtown, food prices are more expensive than in the suburbs. And these are just a couple of ways of spending less money because your job is to be online working from home now.

Less Stress: You know the expression: "Home, Sweet Home!" - Have you ever stopped and thought about the meaning behind it? You probably have and if so, you'll understand why doing your job from your house is going to improve the productivity of your job a lot. You will have much less stress!

When you work from home, you are working from your nest, from the place you feel at best. You won't have to deal with the backstabbing and gossiping of ill meaning colleagues. You will have peace!

More Productive: Especially if you control what you have to do, you will do what YOU KNOW is required, and this will make your job much more productive than when somebody tells you what to do. If you have a standard job, you know how it is; your boss comes and tells you to drop whatever you're doing and gives you some shitty job that you must do yesterday.

What a recipe for lack of productivity but increase in stress!

You might finish the job on time, but your stress and frustration levels will skyrocket and you will certainly not be happy. Well, this will not be the case if you have a job that allows you to work from home or, even better, if you are an entrepreneur with an online business and are your own boss.

As you can see, there are many the joys of doing work from home. However, everything is not just a rosy paradise when you are doing jobs from your house. In fact, the perils lurking behind the curtains of those joys can completely destroy your dream of a legitimate online job from home.

That's why it's very important to be aware of them and know when they might show up their ugly head and do a job on you and your dreams.

The Pitfalls of Working From Home

As you'll notice, most of these pitfalls are intimately related to the joys that I just mentioned above.

It's like it's a two edged sword and it certainly can cut both ways. The key is to learn to handle them with care, the same way a two edged sword can also be handled effectively.

So let's take a look at the other side of each of the joys mentioned above, so that we're not taken by surprise.

Freedom: In his book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", Robert Kiyosaki mentions that there are two different type of people who want to be their own bosses. Those who instead of having jobs outside, give themselves those jobs and those who understand the importance of scaling and outsourcing.

If you are your own boss, let's say because of being an entrepreneur, you can set up the different jobs that need to be done in a way that frees you up for more important tasks.

It's also depends on the type of jobs or work we're talking about. If you are a doctor and have your own clinic, you are your own boss. However, since everything circles and depends on you, you will certainly not have lots of freedom.

You don't work, you don't earn.

The key is then to find the right jobs that will allow you to delegate, delegate, delegate once you've setup your business.

For this kind of freedom, you might read "The 4-hour week" by Tim Ferriss. Even though I don't think it possible to have a 4 hour week, everything you do in that direction will free your time and give you freedom incredibly.

Family Life: As you work from home, you will require some kind of official separation from your family, even if you are in the same house. To make your work effective and productive, you need a daily routine.

The members of your family must understand that they are not to interrupt you during your work time. Because you are in your house, there will be a tendency for them to constantly interrupt and that could cause fights and generate stress.

Make sure to sit down with them and make them grasp the importance of the jobs you're doing at home. They have to understand that it's like going to work.

There is a big difference though, you can apportion your time in little chunks and you can come out of your cave and interact with your family much more often than if you were actually away in an office.

Make sure you plan those family breaks.

Control: This is the biggest pitfall that's awaiting you around the corner. Because now you are in control, you can easily lose that control or just simply let things fall through the crack.

This means that you need to make a specific plan of what you want to achieve and how you're going to achieve it.

If you don't, things won't get done and nobody is going to force you to do them. If that happens regularly, it could be the doom of your working at home experience and you'll find yourself looking for jobs relatively soon.

It's like having a high speed boat and not getting some training on how to control it. If you go fast with it and don't control it, you might crash and you and the boat could be going down.

More Stress: As I mentioned in the joys section, most of us consider our house our castle and believe that we're in control a most of what happens in it. However, if strict rules are not implemented, working from home can turn into a nightmare and cause lots of stress and quarrels in family life.

The key aspect is to have your family understand that your work is not a hobby, but more like your job, something your must do if you are to generate enough income to make it worth it.

That's why a specific planned daily routine is super important. Your spouse needs to understand that you're not to be interrupted for any small stuff that pops in their head, you're there but you should be off limits, at least for reasonable periods of time. The same goes for your kids, if you have any.

Very important is your own attitude concerning this issue. You must develop that super important daily routine without which, your efforts will just dissipate and end up just evaporating.

You don't want to end up not really working but feeling guilty because you don't. That would increase your levels of stress a lot, specially if your income starts to dwindle because of your lack of commitment.

Less Productive: As you can see, it's not guaranteed that being at home will make your jobs more productive. In fact, you could develop habits that will work in against your success.

Because your office is just a few feet away and you don't need to commute, and you also don't need to dress up to be seen at the office, you might develop bad habits even without being aware of it.

All this would work against your desire to be successful. On top of that, people will automatically believe that you just hang out and just have lots of fun and free time, yes, even your family at home will believe that.

To counteract this, some people develop a disciplined habit of doing everything as if they still had a job. They get up at the same time, they create a routine as if they still had normal jobs, they dress up, they "leave" and start their routine. Specially at the beginning when everybody just thinks that you're watching porn on the computer all day.

If you have the space, it's worth it to create a separate office area where you can go and do your online job. In fact, it's even practical for tax purposes to do that.

Take Home Message

As you can see, in this day and age of online jobs and legitimate work from home business opportunities, working from your house can be very satisfying, because it can give you freedom, control, a much richer family life, increased productivity and much less stress. But ONLY IF YOU DO THINGS RIGHT.

Those same satisfying traits that having an online job from home brings, could be your doom if left unchecked. You have to master the ability to handle the very sharp double edged sword of online home jobs like a ninja master.

The most important aspects that you need to remember are to create a daily routine you can live with and make your family understand that the fact that you're in the house working on the computer all the time, doesn't mean you're just having fun. You're actually working and they need to respect that.

When those two aspects do not represent a problem for you, you'll be way ahead and your chances of success will increase immensely.

As Jim Rohn stated once,

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."

As you can see, developing the right work discipline and a daily routine could be the difference between failure and success. So make sure to avoid the pitfalls and get ready to reap the joys of turning your house in your place of work.

Hermann Bock

About the author 

Hermann Bock

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