Work in the Office or BYOB*?
I’ve been contemplating on working from home in the last couple of months mainly because I’ve started to love freelance work. I thought I was ready to make the shift from 9-hour office worker to independent Web worker who gets to do some cooking while she writes.
(I kid. I always burn the rice when I cook while writing.)
So I came up with a list of advantages and disadvantages for working in an office and being my own boss:
Working from home is good because I can be around more often for my little boy and it will enable me to be more productive without the distraction of casual office conversations (which run for 30 minutes without your noticing). It will also save me on cab fare to work, the energy of reporting to a brick-and-mortar office, and commuting time.
On the other hand, what I love about working in an office is that a part of me is comforted by the idea that there are people around (okay, I admit, I am afraid of being alone–sometimes) and that when I get bored I can sneak downstairs with a friend and watch people smoke or try to climb over the barricade to get to the commercial district across the street.
I also like the idea that I have IT guys in the office whose only responsibility is to make sure the Internet and the entire network is running fine. At home, the mere act of picking up the phone and reporting that my Internet connection is slow or nonexistent irritates me no end and sometimes interferes with my writing mood.
And yes, the idea that there’s someone who does the accounting is also comforting, because I honestly do not want to be bothered with contracts and billings. I like knowing that I can march off to the nearest ATM twice a month and get my pay, and not have to remind my client that it’s time to issue me a cheque.
But the nice thing about working from home is that, if you are able to snag a number of well-paying projects, you actually stand to earn more than if you do office work. (And you don’t have to pay taxes!–okay, I’m kidding: I’m not encouraging you to renege on what you owe the government.) There’s also the fact that you can work when you want to or as long as you want, and if you’re sleepy, you can sneak in an hour’s nap and nobody will raise the roof. As long as you get the job delivered on time and in fine condition, who complains, right?
Am still weighing things for now. My freelance work isn’t enough to pay all the bills for a month yet, so there’s no way I’m giving up my full-time job. But who knows? I believe that whether I work in the office or or at home, there always will be something to pick on. It’s only a matter of living with the situation. Maybe in six months, we’ll see.
*In case you didn’t know: Be your own boss