Mythbusting: Working at Home

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what it’s like to work from home. Is working at home easy? Hard? Challenging? If you’re thinking about making the transition to become a virtual administrative professional, or you already are working from home, you’ve probably heard a few of these already. These myths are prevalent on the internet and tend to pop up in conversations when people are curious about what working from home is really like.

Here are the top 12 myths surrounding working in a home-based business.

1. You can always make your own schedule

Working from home does allow for a little bit more flexibility than a 9-5 job with a boss to report to, but if you owned your own brick and mortar business you’d have very similar flexibility. Since you’re working with lots of clients, you might not have one big boss, but you certainly have lots of smaller ones. Clients pay you for a service with a deadline and they can often be quite demanding about turnaround time. This means that once you a take a job on, your hours aren’t as flexible as people like to believe.

2. You can work from anywhere and don’t need an office

Whether people think you’re working out of a Starbuck’s, a bar, or your patio, people seem to believe that you don’t need to be in an actual home office to get your work done. Wrong! The reality of working from home is that you still need an office with a traditional workspace .. and a way to shut out the rest of the world. Most successful people who work from home get up and get ready for work as if they were leaving the house. They take breaks throughout the day, and they treat their job no differently than if they were working in a larger office.

3. You will work far harder than you would in a normal office

Complaining about how busy we are can sometimes make us feel important. Workloads are normally the same when you’re working from home, unless you’re purposely taking on more clients or trying to make more money. All business owners have to work hard, regardless of where they’re doing it from.

4. It costs almost nothing to start working from home

This is really dependent on the type of work you will be doing from home. Some people might find that they already have everything they need, while others will need to purchase special equipment or supplies to get started. As a virtual assistant, you need to have solid (and good) internet service, a computer, and other essentials. What are those? It depends on you, but here at Out of the Office, external monitors, keyboard & mouse are a must, plus software subscriptions, such as Hootsuite and Evernote.

5. Reducing overhead is the only good financial reason to work from home

Even if this were true, it’s still a really good incentive to work from home. Others include the tax deductions that you can get from office supplies, travel, mileage, telephone bills, childcare, and insurance premiums, just to rattle off a few .. and the furry ones can be much happier.

6. Unless you’re having meetings in person they’re not as effective

You can still have face to face meetings if you use video conferencing. Meetings can still be just as productive with the use of Google Hangouts, Skype or other conferencing apps. Naturally, if you have locally based clients, there’s something to be said for meeting them in person, at least occasionally. Many people still feel like they can trust someone more if they’ve shaken their hand.

7. You won’t be taken seriously if you work from home

Everyone has a preference as to who they want to work with. A client has every reason to prefer working with someone that is in a traditional office versus working from a home office. They also have every right to want to work with someone in a green building as opposed to a red one. Ultimately, it’s up to the client to make their choice and if they don’t want to work with you, another client will.

While this myth is busted, there is some truth to it .. namely that family and friends will likely be the ones who won’t take you seriously. To resolve that, begin their education from Day One! It’s your first step in establishing your boundaries.

8. Online businesses are always a passive income and you make money while you sleep

Internet marketing is somewhat misunderstood, not just from its reputation, but to how hard you need to work to make money. It’s hard to be successful in internet marketing and it’s a great deal of work to keep it up. Once you’re making money on one thing you need to figure out what your next move is before you start to get behind. It’s a job that’s constantly in flux.

9. You can’t be successful if you have a family

Granted, you can’t work from home and watch your kids at the same time, but there are ways to solve that issue. You need to make a decision about whether or not you want to work from home part time or full time and then make the necessary arrangements for childcare. Every office will have distractions, even large corporate ones.

10. Without those big overhead costs I can charge people less

Working from home still has its overhead costs, in a way. Working for yourself means that you will have to pay for your own Medicare, Social Security, retirement, health care, education, and licensing. Oh, and don’t forget your taxes. You also won’t get any vacation pay so time away with your family will cost you even more.

11. Online businesses are a great way to get really rich really fast

No matter what you see on ad banners and promotional videos, the chances of making $28,000 a week via your internet business are pretty slim. You should focus your time on realistic goals of being comfortable, and avoid getting sucked into ideas that don’t make sense.

12. You will never make enough money working from home to make up for a real full time job

Most people think that you’ll never get more than a part time income from a home based business, but that’s not necessarily true. These days you’re more likely to be successful but you do need to investsome time into getting experienced and educated in your area of specialty.

It’s easy to hear things and take them at face value, but you need to be careful when making a large decision about your future. The best way to educate yourself about working from home, is to speak with someone that has already been successfully doing it for a while. They can help you get someperspective and clear up any myths.

About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:

logo1bSince 2006, Out of the Office has offered 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, content writing and offering creative solutions for your business success.

Image credit: PIX1861 | CC0 Public Domain