I LOVE helping job seekers with their remote work journey. It’s the reason I created my courses, Youtube channel, and is the glue that holds my business together. It’d be pretty difficult to do all that I do if I didn’t love it. But, and a BIG BUT, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that working from home isn’t for everyone.
“Why not?” you might ask.
Well, because it’s not a one size fits all kinda thing. I can best break it down for you into five areas.
The #1 reason some people can’t work from home is because of a lack of focus. Many people really want to work from home, but they mentally cannot rise to the challenge of the freedom that comes with working from home. All our favorite things are at home: snacks, our bed, the tv, video games, etc! Temptation is all around, and for some, it’s too much.
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with the cable guy who came to our apartment to setup our new cable package. I’d been working from home for about a year at that point, and I was on a conference call while sitting on the couch so I could keep an eye on what he was doing. When I hung up the call, he started a conversation with me and inquired on what I did for a living.
“I work from home as an online tutor and at an internet start up doing.. blah blah blah.”
“Oh, really? That’s cool; sounds interesting! I’d love to work from home, but I know I couldn’t.”
(I’m now really interested because I’d realized months prior that there’s no way I’d ever work a traditional job again.) So, I replied, “Why not? It’s great, and there are a lot of online jobs available!”
“I wouldn’t get anything done. I’d play video games all day and just sit around and eat. I have to leave the house to be productive.”
We had a nice conversation, he finished up, and went on his way. But I thought a lot about what he said, still am since I’m writing about it years later (lol), and you know what? I appreciate how aware he was about himself. Anyone interested in working from home could stand to be just as aware.
Remember Home Alone 1 when Kevin woke up to no one at home and he thought he’d ‘wished them away’, but in actuality, his family had dashed to the airport, and irresponsibly forgotten about an 8 year old? (fav movie by the way?) He had a blast at first, but after a couple days, he was longing for someone to be around. Working from home/remotely can be like that. It’s the isolation that gets people. Depending on your work style and personality-type, some people can’t focus without someone else physically being around working on the same things.
It reminds me of a time back in college when I was working on a group project with my classmates in the library. We met up on the first floor, a generally noisy floor because it’s where everyone enters the library and the location of the coffee shop. We were chatting and you know, procrastinating until we absolutely had to start working. And I remember someone said they never go to the 5th floor of the library (the quiet floor) because it’s too quiet and hardly anyone else is up there; the 5th floor was my favorite floor for those very reasons. I’d get so much work done up there because I focus better without others around.
To succeed working from home, you must be able to work, and do your best work, with or without people around.
To be successful working from home, there has to be something driving you, and it’s not just the money. Money is a very important driver, but most people who are successful at remote work have a separate, but equally if not more important, reason for working from home that drives them. Common drivers are wanting to travel, having location independence, being home with the kids, taking care of a family member, etc. There are many other drivers. Personally, my main driver is I NEVER want to go back to a traditional office/place of work again because I just can’t take it. I can’t stand office culture, I never fit in because I don’t care to play ‘the game’, and I’m antisocial when it comes to work events. No, I don’t want to go to your house; no, I don’t want to get a drink after work- I prefer to go home to my family; And a big NO to the office holiday party ??♀️. I disliked traditional work so much, that I left my ‘good job’ because I couldn’t get with the program. It’s so uncomfortable to me, that I’ve vowed I’ll NEVER EVER work a traditional job again. Come what may, I’m not going into any office except for mine!
So as you can tell, whatever your driver(s) is, it has to be compelling. This will keep you focused on making working remotely pan-out long term for you.
4. Motivation and Productivity
I’m lumping these two together because motivation feeds your productivity when working from home. A good example to explain what I mean is you must be the type to get out of bed on Monday mornings ready to attack the work week. And even on Mondays when you wake up feeling the opposite, you’re capable of getting yourself to that state of mind. Setting goals, measuring your progress, and holding yourself accountable are all part of the process. I’m telling you, inconsistency with motivation will hurt your productivity, and will lead to you losing your online opportunity. So, you must find ways to keep yourself motivated and ultimately, you’ll maintain your productivity.
Whew, we’re almost to the end! Thanks for sticking with me while I explain all this 🙂
5. Tech Savvy
Using technology is a major part of working from home. Without it, there’s no working from home. So, you must be comfortable with all facets of tech: email, internet searches, configuring applications, navigating multiple screens, etc. You have to quickly adapt new tech and learn new programs. And when you don’t know how to do/use something, you must be willing to research and figure it out. Your equipment is your money maker, so in addition to staying up to date on the latest tech, you have to keep the latest tech to be successful working from home. This was a tough one for me because I’ve always used things ’til the ‘wheels fall off.’ But I had to get with the program because my old, outdated computer was slowing me down. As little as 2-3 years old is considered old tech in the online job world. You’ll need to upgrade your equipment every few years. Doing so will help you operate the fastest and most efficiently.
Ok, there you have it! I’ve summed up the main reasons why working from home isn’t for everyone. If you find yourself having issues with any of these areas, but still have a desire to work from home, the good news is you can work on them. At least now you’re ‘in the know’ about what it’ll take to be successful working online. And If you want more info on knowing whether or not you should work from home, you can check out this Youtube video HERE where I talk about it.