Articles / WRITE

The highs and lows of working from home

2011-05-17-workingfromhome

I work from home, running my online business from the comfort of my own bedroom. It’s a fun job. It’s flexible. It allows me to stay away from traffic. It gives me a lot of time to write. And I love every minute of it.

However, every now and then I find myself wishing that I have an actual office I can go to or a circle of colleagues I can befriend. Working alone at home can be lonely and isolating. And I’m forever looking for a chance, any chance at all, to be out of the house.

The above picture summarizes my working-from-home experience with exaggerations, but I can totally relate with the idea. Working from home does have its high and low points.

THE HIGHS 

**Being my own boss**

I don’t have anyone to answer to except myself. I’m free to set up my work schedule any way that I please. I can work all day or half-a-day and take a break anytime I want to. If I screw up, there’s no one to scold me. I’m free to pilot my business to any direction I pleases. I make all the decisions. It’s a one woman show.

**It’s a very flexible job**

I can work from anywhere. All I need is my laptop and my mobile phone. I don’t have to work from 9 to 5.

**It allows me to stay away from traffic**

This is very important to me. Jakarta’s traffic is among the worst in the world. I hear stories from my dad and my boyfriend of how long and depressing it takes for them to reach their office every morning only to experience the same thing when it’s time to head back home. Everyday they waste a minimum of two hours sitting in traffic. That’s a nightmare. I’m thankful I don’t have to go through traffic everyday. I still have to face it when I have a meeting outside my home office, but that doesn’t happen very often.

**It’s easy on the pocket**

I still live with my parents, so I don’t have rent to pay. I do contribute to the monthly household bills, but it’s not much. I save on fuel costs for not having to travel for work. I rarely eat out. Most of my income goes to my savings account, while the rest are divided between personal spending and the upkeep of my business (advertisement, re-stocking, website management, etc).

THE LOWS

**It’s a one woman show**

There is no one else to share the burden with. If I fail to reach my target profit for the month, there is no one else to blame. I’m in charge of everything, from the operation to the finance, from stock-taking to marketing. I can’t afford to hire help yet, so it’s just going to be me for a while. Honestly, it can be overwhelming at times.

**Without a strong willpower, I’m screwed**

Being the sole person in charge means that I have to be 100% disciplined and extra efficient. Since I don’t have a superior to please or an office’s rule to follow, I can pretty much do whatever I want. I can wake up at 10, laze around, and start work at noon. Or I can ditch work completely and go play the whole day.

Rest assured, I don’t wake up at 10 or play around everyday. I have a schedule and I can say that I’ve managed to follow it 80% of the time. The other 20% is wasted by me succumbing to temptations. It surely is hard. But I won’t stop trying to be more disciplined.

**It gets lonely**

Working alone is lonely. And I’m an introvert, so this is a big deal coming from me.

so…to wrap it up…

Despite its notable low points, I’m not going to start looking for another job anytime soon. I’m happy with the way things are. The most important thing for me is to do something that I love and enjoy.

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