Misconceptions about working from home

I am a solo entrepreneur and a budding trainer. I work from home. By the time I reach the end of the second sentence the expression on people’s face changes from Awesome to Oh! Yeah?

You know why?

Because even today, if you are working from home you are considered to be a non-serious, somewhat dreamy non-achiever! You can call yourself a start-up and work from your home garage (remember Google) but you can’t be a mom and working from home. You have to go out, to do some real work!

This post is about busting these misconceptions about working from home

You work at leisure

People consider you to be on a paid vacation if they know you work from home! Working from home means you work at your leisure and are not really bound by your office. While it is true that work from home offers a certain amount of flexibility, assuming that people work for 2 hours in a day and laze around while still getting paid a full salary is just a joke.

Vartika an HR professional and office administrator who is also involved in training and has been working from home for quite some time says “The attitude of people, in general, is that they don’t believe I am a dedicated employee. They think it is absolutely okay to ping me or ask me to get some task done anytime without considering my prior obligations at my office.”

You are always available

This is a misconception among your family or friends. Just because you are home, it is assumed that you will be available to entertain guests, join them on last-minute shopping spree or kitty parties. While someone who is working from home might be able to squeeze in such activities if they are informed beforehand that does not mean they can join in at the drop of a hat. A person who is working remotely is compensating for the time lost by working late or squeezing time in some other time slot.

Misconceptions about working from home

You are not really working if you work remotely

This is a fear among those working remotely or even the perception of those who haven’t worked remotely. As the world shrinks in terms of telecommunicating and teleworking, this idea should have been busted ages ago. According to a recent study, those who work from home are more productive because they are not distracted by office chat and try harder for the fear of being seen as lazy

Working from home is a dream come true

This is something that needs to be addressed. A person working from home is probably only saving on the hassle of travel. Work from home does not entail them with a different job description. They still have deadlines to adhere to, appraisals to be done and feedback to be met. Vartika who is currently abroad faces a unique problem in this scenario “As my kids are at school and I am home alone, people assume I can attend any party or social gatherings in the mornings. I have been termed anti-social because I couldn’t make it to such gatherings on a weekday! They just don’t realize I could have deadlines to meet or calls to attend. Would they have said the same thing if I had been working at an office?”

Working from Home is looked down upon

Sonam who is into Business Development and has been working from home sums this point eloquently “Work from home is an underrated term.  I personally feel it requires three times the extra effort to actually have a balance with your work and manage a house. It requires mastery in management skills specifically with time as you have those limited hours to complete your job and unlike office, you can’t extend, it requires multitasking skills to switch roles in matters of a second, it requires a lot more responsibility as you can’t or don’t have the room to seek help from colleagues and moreover I feel it requires patience to accept the fact the world does not see it worthy enough and to bring about the change in the eyes of the people.”

I hope we start looking at those working from home as respectable employees rather than someone who is just wasting their time. Remember there are a lot of struggles that a work from home employee or a solo entrepreneur face. Be the wind under their wings rather than a stone that weighs them down.

36 Replies to “Misconceptions about working from home”

  1. I agree with the thoughts shared, completely. There are so many misconceptions about work from home. In fact, I believe it is more challenging than regular office work. There’s so much of juggling and multi-tasking to be done. And the worst is that this work isnt taken seriously sometimes even by your own family and friends!!

  2. Absolutely, work from home is still not getting enough importance. They are assumed to adjust their schedule as per the situation. Why? Because they don’t have to step out of the house at 8:00 sharp. They can start their work at anytime of the day. But the reality is, they have to be more organized.

  3. Bang on post, Neha. I wish people understand that working from home doesn’t mean a luxury alone. It has its own challenges. Thanks for the mention 🙂

  4. This happens a lot and almost everywhere in the world. But still, ladies living around me are in families and working from home. Someone takes tuition or runs a boutique; in some of the other ways, they are independent. Still, this society is a mixture of opinions.

  5. I completely agree with the points here. Working from home is not at all what people imagine it to be. In fact u end up working more than the ppl who work on fixed office hours with multiple responsibilities to be fulfilled simultaneously at home.

  6. Great post for all WAHM. It’s multitasking and dual working for the one at home and I say hats off to all women who manage this successfully. At home, it’s more difficult because people inside the house only don’t take you seriously.

  7. Such a well described post Neha, you have picked us the topic which clearly shares the misconceptions of work from moms. Being a mom itself is a daunting task, and on top of it additional professional work is double targets & management.

  8. Working from home is better choice when you have a kid specially. But at the same time people have some misconception too. Here tou are nor with the company tag rather you have to build up your own identity so the pressure is double and you have more responsibilities too.

  9. All the points are bang-on. Before motherhood, for a certain project I was working from home and the people tend to be so ignorant about it. They would ping at odd times and expect things to be done. Thankfully, my client understood the reality and made it a point that I am not bugged.

  10. You burst the bubble for good! People need to start using their head on the matters of work with profound changes. I work from home and I don’t even finish till my husband gets back from work plus the home chores and what not. Super agreed with you! Great post!

  11. its really weird to see people look down upon work from home (specially if they are also moms). But there’s no reason to it. I give a straight face to them.

  12. Excellent post , agree with you , People cannot understand that we are doing a balancing act by doing work from home and blogging is something which is not taken seriously .

  13. Very well articulated. People actually do not want to understand the seriousness of work at home moms. Firstly moms have to play ‘n’ number of roles at home and then the added pressure of work.

  14. Let there be misconceptions . Keep working boldly all you Work from Home Moms. You rock ! Ahh I also wanna be working from home in the next few years .Wish me luck !

  15. Your blog is so full of activities. Indicates that you are a very busy person. If anyone things it is free time to work from home, show them your blog. It is not true those who go to office work all the time. They take lunch break, coffee breaks, gossip, and have extended meetings where nothing much gets done. Only thing is office goers have a fixed time to reach office and many also leave at a fixed time. By contrast, a free lancer must be self motivated more so when he / she has to find work. He has to keep himself engaged and be ready to tackle any challenge with varing degree of difficulty. So I agree with you that working remotely is not getting a pay cheque without doing anything.

  16. No matter how much we harp on this, it will require great amount of time to get the same respect for work from home jobs as the refular/full time jobs. #LiveItYoungReads #MyFriendAlexa

  17. Agree with your words, Neha. It’s been 3 years and still people ask me, “isn’t it amazing you get to work in your pajamas?” Sometimes, I tend to carry a card telling that work from home is as much harder as a 9-5 job

  18. This is SO true. I have been discussing this so much on my blog and vlogging channel… after a point, it gets frutrating. It affects your own self confidence and self motivation… When would people stop being so judgemental about the work they don’t understand?

  19. I wish I could tape this around my room, email it to all my clients and relatives and help them understand the kind of word I am doing.

  20. So true. I am a WFHM and people always assume I have time to do everything. Whereas the reality is, handling a toddler and working from home is really challenging.

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