Myths about Working from Home

There are several misconceptions people have about working from home. From one side, you have people who work the dreaded 9-6 cubicle job who are envious of the fact that your office is only 15 steps away in another room; On the other hand, you have people who think that since you are at home, you don’t really work.

Myth #1: Running a home-based business is easy. Anyone can do it.

Okay. I admit that when I first jumped into this business I thought it would be easy. What I soon came to realize in the first couple of months, while going through my business plan and incorporating Tek-uniQue Graphics, was that I would have to handle everything from bookkeeping to sales. As a sole proprietor, you will find yourself wearing most (if not all) of the “hats” required to run your business until you’re able to hire specialists to help alleviate your workload (i.e. – accountant/bookkeeper, personal assistant, marketing, legal, etc…).

Myth #2 – You have the freedom to work when you want and for how long.

Sure. I am my own boss and I get to declare when I have a day off or how long I work, but what many fail to understand is that while I have that “freedom” I am also a slave to my company. If I take the day off, who’s going to take over while I’m gone? Unlike a 9-to-5, I don’t have the luxury of paid vacations, sick days, or personal days.

Don’t get me wrong. Occasionally, I’ll have my lazy days where I’ll only work a few hours (this is a perk that I enjoy when I can), but I must accept the consequences of my actions. Taking a day off means loss of potential income for me. Marketing does not get done, articles aren’t written, phone calls won’t get answered, projects won’t be worked on…

However, there are days where I’m working 15-16 hours straight to ensure that I’m making my deadlines, fielding phone calls and emails, chasing down invoices, testing out website code, readying designs for print, or reading up on the latest news in the industry.

Myth #3: Home-based businesses are cheap to run.

I somewhat agree with this one, but again, there are several things that must not go overlooked. When starting a business you have to worry about the legal issues (trademarks, copyrights, etc…), establishing a business entity (which is recommended in order to protect personal assets), health/dental insurance, taxes and social security, equipment, supplies, travel expenses, marketing materials, telecommunications, etc…

Personally, my overhead isn’t much on a monthly basis, but the initial investment required was still a considerable amount. Plus, realize that even though I can “expense” or write-off several items during tax time, I am still responsible for everything upfront.

Myth #4: You’re at home, you must not really be working.

This is similar to myth #2, but more for the family and friends of home-based business owners. Just because someone is working from home, and not in an office setting or store, it doesn’t mean that they are not working. I sometimes get a call from a friend or family member asking me to run an errand or perform some kind of favor. Funny, I never received these calls when I was actually in an office (unless in an emergency), so why now?

Not that it’s a lack of respect, but I’m betting that people who leave the house to go to work have a hard time seeing someone who is at home as someone who is working. Because if you’re like me, once I left the office I refused to do anything work related.

Myth #5: Working from home is like working at an onsite job.

Wrong. See myths 1 through 4.

Myth #6: You’ll be stuck at home all day and every day.

I guess this depends on the type of business you run, but for me, I’m able to leave the house and bring my business along with me. That’s one of the many perks and is an obvious benefit to my clients. I can go where they need me to, allowing me to accommodate their schedules as best as possible.

I’m sure you may have heard many of these myths and probably share the same sentiments. However, regardless of what you may believe, the fact-of-the-matter is that there are a countless number of home-based businesses that are successful and working just as hard as some company stationed in a nice comfy office building. Just because we are working from home, doesn’t mean we have it any easier than those stuck in a corporate or retail environment.

What myths have you heard? Share your thoughts with the tek community!