Working From Home: Pros & Cons

People always coo with envy when I tell them I work from home. I figured I probably should explain the process a bit better before they start searching for home-based businesses. There are great benefits and some really annoying detriments...

I'm an optimist. Well, perhaps an opportunist. I don't necessarily think everything works out well in the end, but I do believe that all course diversions along life's path lead to opportunities. (yeah, I'm a lemons-to-lemonade kinda gal)

I very proudly entered the industry of medical transcription in 1992. I worked in an ER for years before I worked for a service from home. I was very pleased with my "profession," but in recent years, computers type up the reports and I edit. They pay me 1/3 the amount to do this and it takes as long or longer to edit a report as to type it. So, I am super screwed in a big, "bend-over-and-take-it-you work-for-a-sweatshop-now" kind of way. It's humiliating that I not only make less than I did starting in the industry in 92, but I make the same as people working in fast food restaurants and I'm required to meet OSHA standards and be 98% or more accurate for every comma in a report because it ends up in your medical records. Does it make you feel happy to know that highly skilled workers in the medical field handling your documents are being paid like McDonald's workers? Yeah, it fucking sucks!

So, that being said, I see this as an opportunity (remember, I'm an opportunist) to make me finally take my writing career seriously. So, there's my "lemonade" in the scheme of things.

I've made this video to talk to you a bit about what is good and what is bad about working from home. There are some people who envy me very much and I envy them having coworkers who annoy them and interrupt their work, make them stop to blow out candles on a birthday cake or bug them to go out for drinks on a Friday. They, however, envy me being home in my PJs working away, listening to my music, coming and going as I please, and never once starting up my car or sitting in traffic.

So, here's the truth about working from home:


  1. ...on the other hand looking through the blinds of your office window you can pretend that you are wearing shutter glasses at 80s party.

  2. ...sharon, you totally NEED a co-worker...i suggest a kitty!!!

  3. My dream job is to be a self-employed graphic/web designer, working from home. I love messing around with Photoshop. I am sorry that you have such an under-paid job. I hope your able to find a better paying profession that you'll actually enjoy!

  4. Libby-Girl;
    I'm highly allergic.

    It just inspires me to get doing what I was meant to do, which is writing. I'd like to see you do that kind of work. In the future, more jobs should be at home, just like companies don't fly employees to other sites much anymore, they do teleconferences. Smart.

  5. I think you hit all the points right on the money. I have been working from home for five years now, and though the discipline to keep professional hours and a work ethic weren't a problem (it was sink or swim in a 3rd world country...), the sense of isolation can be very real at times.

    Luckily I do have co-workers who I interact with via internet relay chat though. My main contract is with a software company based in Alaska who handles all of the point of sale systems for the larger beauty salons in the US and Britain. So there is a team of 6 programmers and 10 systems engineers scattered all over the world who work for this company.

    One thing that I would add as a drawback though is the nagging sensation that you never truly "get off" of work. I wake up at about 6:30 and keep going until just about now, and it's 12:30 AM as I write this in Costa Rica. I could always walk out of my office, but then I just end up working from my hammock with my laptop. I've compensated for this by promising myself to get as soused as possible on Friday nights so I simply don't have the ability to work on non critical projects during the weekend. Thus far it seems to be working...

  6. Aaron;
    Dude, you are as much an insomniac as me. I hate sleeping alone. I suck at it. I get up at 7 and work until 4 and then go directly into the living room where I start my second job of writing until about 11:30 pm. Social life is almost nil. I see friends maybe once a week and my son about the same amount. I join groups sometimes but the groups usually dissolve. Really blogging has saved me from being a blathering idiot. If I didn't plan road trips and ghost hunts, I'd be an idiot. I find sometimes, I haven't left my apartment for days on end and that's never a happy thing for someone with the energy level I have, so I workout and hip hop dance to keep from going mad and generally find tons of projects to write. I have a shit load of books waiting to be finished writing. I just figure if I can establish myself as a writer, I can go on the road and write from inspiring locations and that keeps me smiling. If I'm going to work from home, I'd rather work for myself dammit!

  7. Though I miss the security of a regular paycheck, I sure don't miss traffic or having to live by someone else's schedule. Now I just have to make the transition from "unemployed" to "working from home".

  8. Doc;
    Much luck! Yes, I got so spoiled that working in a work place would be very hard after this many years from home. I recall some of the things that annoyed me, like everyone interrupting my work and my work is production based--I get paid per line. I've never needed supervision, so it's ridiculous to put me in an office and pay for an office space. More employers need to consider this eventuality. Owning and upkeeping work sites is expensive. When things can be done by computer, why bother having them come in?


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