You Work from Home? WOOHOO!

Lisa Tomey
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

For those of us who work from home, how often have we heard: “Sweet! You can watch TV and wear your pj’s all day!” Or “Since you work from home, I will drop by with junior and pay you a visit.” Or “Hey, since you are home, can I drop by my laundry?” Working from home takes boundaries. It takes asserting to others that you are “on duty” from one set time to another. Otherwise, you won’t get anything done. And, in cases where you are working from home as a phone agent, you could lose your contract.

“Vintage telephone with a chord splayed on a white backdrop” by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Ever since 2006 I have, out of necessity, worked from home. It has been part-time to meet my special needs. I started out with contracting with a customer service job where I took incoming calls. I started as an independent contractor and the company converted to being a typical W-2 position. I picked up writing gigs and discontinued doing contact work.

A business that sold jewelry online contracted with me to create descriptions for the jewelry. I wrote articles and blog posts for the site. I learned about SEO and became efficient at recognizing keywords.

Just about the time the jewelry business slowed down, I started ghostwriting a book about Alzheimer’s Disease. This piqued my interest because our father had Alzheimer’s Disease and became very engrossed in studying more. That resulted in a published book from that project. I worked with setting up the site and all the social media. These were not my strengths, but I studied how to accomplish these tasks. I liked meeting with the man for whom I did the work. Very much like a parent figure, he was just what I needed after losing my dad.

As writing has been more my thing than customer service work, I sought more writing gigs. A mutual friend spoke about my preparing her memoir. This sounded fantastic, and I completed the memoir.

About 18 months ago, I entered a poetry chapbook contest. I set pen to paper to write my book. I awaited the results and the clock ticked longer than expected. They were behind. Since I did not hear otherwise, and I had received a confirmation, I thought my entrance was in the mix. I found out from the individual in charge they did not receive my entry. They had picked a winner. They offered nothing to establish peace. I got a reimbursement. After that, I moved forwards and self published my chapbook, Heart Sounds.

“A woman working on a laptop at a table by the window” by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Working from home is not for everybody. It is a benefit for many of us who, for many reasons, require this option. That stated, some individuals discover they can produce their work in coffee shops, libraries, living rooms, anywhere they can hook up their laptop and get busy.

If they perform as a customer service agent they would require their phone, internet, and printer to all be hard-wired, for security. This necessitates having some kind of home work location. People can work from their dining room, nook, bedroom, or actual office. A quiet environment, sometimes aided by a sound machine, may be in order. As one can understand, by now, the preference would be to perform a non telephone customer service position. There are mystery shoppers who may be encouraged to have background noise, but those positions do not occur often.

I should provide necessary cautions. One has to know of scams. I have done great detective work to avoid scams. I have also stuck my neck out in this area to detect scammers. And I have found some that did not pass the rigor. I have found the site to be very beneficial for checking out work at home jobs. There is a forum on the site where people tell it like it is for various companies. If you want the straight scoop, I encourage you to check this out. There are great job leads. I do offer the disclaimer that I do not vouch for any of the jobs listed. This is a resource for your own research.

When I hear of decent, reputable jobs I share with others, via social media, that there are opportunities out there. I wish I could say that was all well and fine, but some people have come back to me that they think that what I speak of is a scam. They are entitled to their opinion, but I have shared what I based my own personal, contracted worker experience. I would not stay with a scam company. Working for nothing and for crooks is not my cup of tea. There is an investment and that includes providing your own equipment, sometimes there are startup costs, and yes, you have to pay taxes. These are self-employment jobs where you get a 1099 instead of a W-2. If a person wants a W-2 work from home job there are some out there. I have found a couple of them that are reputable.

One last thing. Working from home requires a strong self-discipline and commitment to meet the schedule, if there is one, or to be able to set your own schedule and adhere to this. In some cases, the people who we let pull us in other directions are those who do not understand that working from home means you are working. It means that you are not available to drop everything and go somewhere. Educating friends and family members that work time is just that and not up for negotiation, is vital to work from home success. After a while, they will catch on. And you may just have the money to do some fun things that you could not otherwise afford. How awesome is that?

“The silhouette of a hand and arm being raised against a purple and pink sky in a field” by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

How many of you work from home? What helps you be a better worker? I would love to hear about your experiences, challenges, and solutions. If you liked this article I would love to know this. Would this be an article you would like me to spin off from? Please let me know. Thank you for reading.

Lisa Tomey

Written by

Artist, Writer, Nature Enthusiast, Foodie, who is growing older gracefully, or not.

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