Technology improvement changed the world and the way business is done. You no longer need to wait a day before a client responds or need to physically go to the client’s office for a meeting. Instant Messenger, smartphones, internet, and email has changed the speed of response. With the ease of technology instantaneous response has become the norm, you can’t imagine waiting a week for a response. Technology plays a very important role to the small business and working from home. Open source software enables you to have an office anywhere. The greatest advantage is how the internet has evened the odds. Now, small and medium businesses that compete with larger companies have a fair chance of getting the contract. The Internet has also created many jobs that were unknown a few years ago. Blogging, for example, is a great tool to generate income.
Although more people are working from home, the expectations of the general public could differ from the actual reality. The perception is still that when you are self-employed it is because you are lazy for work. You are your own boss, so you can work for a few hours a day and spend the rest of the day doing nothing. This is probably the greatest misconception out there today.
It’s time to remove some misconceptions and replace with fact.
Self-employed means lazy and no accountability
There is a misconception that working from home means you are lazy because there is no boss to look over your shoulder. In other words, you have nobody to account to and can do nothing all day long. Although some employers watch their employees like hawks, it is impossible to check on the employee every second of the day. The opposite is true if self-employed. You are now the employer and the employee. Now you do have somebody watching you every second of the day. If you don’t do the job, it is not somebody else that loses money, it is you.
Most jobs have benefits, health insurance, retirement plans, etc. If you are self-employed, you don’t have those luxuries automatically. There is much less security as a self-employed worker than there is working for a company. You have no choice but to earn the necessary bottom line on a daily basis.
There are no working hours
Around the globe the normal working day is normally from 8a in the morning until 5p in the afternoon. Self-employed workers are not alone on an island, although it could feel that way sometimes. They need to communicate with the rest of the world. Therefore their working hours needs to coincide with the rest of the world. It is however more flexible, because with the internet it is possible to communicate with a business on the other side of the globe. This will affect your office hours. When the company’s workers are having a good night’s rest, you are doing business.
You don’t need a real office, you can work from anywhere
Self-employed workers take their job as seriously as do the company employee or employer. They need an organized workspace, an office, where all the necessary documents, stationary, and technology is close at hand. In fact, to separate your personal life and work life, which is now happening under one roof, it becomes more important to have your own office. You are as portable as the office worker is with his laptop, phone and email. The home office does have more mobility, but it is not necessarily an advantage. Mobility decreases productivity.
There is a difference between mobility and structure. Structure is vital to home workers. Self-employed workers need to be self-starters and self-motivators. This could be a problem sometimes. Routines helps and it allows you to use our brains for work and not for figuring out where you left your cellphone. It also helps taking the focus off the surroundings and onto the job at hand.
Working from home is giving up having a company boss. You pay the price with luxuries for not having an employer. Luxuries that employees take for granted are not automatically available for the self-employed, for example, paid vacation, paid sick leave, insurance and retirement plans. On the other hand there is the luxury of freedom the self-employed worker has. You have the choice of doing the jobs you want to do, therefore enjoying it more. This freedom also comes with a price; it is not easier working from home, but it is very rewarding.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
Image credit: my formerly cluttered desk by EvelynGiggles | CC BY 2.0