By Julie Provost
Working in your PJs? Working from the beach? Taking your job anywhere? Sign me up! Working from home can be an ideal job for milspouses, especially since we move often and have to be flexible when with our schedules. However, there are some unique challenges that come with working from home.
1. People don’t understand what you do
When you work from home, you must set boundaries. The truth is, not everyone will understand what you do during the day. They could ask you to do more for them than they would a friend who works outside the home. Set boundaries so people are less likely to take advantage of you.
2. Chores mock you while you work
Chores always need to be done. If you can put in a load of laundry or run a load of dishes during the day, that can take a lot of pressure off of your evenings. However, don’t feel like you need to clean all day long. You need to work, save the majority of the cleaning for later.
3. The loneliness is surprising
Unless you go to a co-working space or live in a house full of people, you will be working alone. There won’t be co-workers to chat with on your way to the bathroom. There won’t be anyone to take a break with. Working at home is isolating at times and finding ways to connect with others during the workweek is a must. Make lunch dates and plans with friends so you won’t feel that loneliness quite as much.
4. Learning when to take time off
One of the significant benefits to working from home is being able to work wherever you can bring your laptop. But should you? If your spouse just got home from deployment and you are taking a vacation, should you bring your work with you? Take some time off. Just because you can work somewhere doesn’t mean you should.
5. Completing your work on time
When working from home, you will have more leeway for getting things done than you would in a traditional office. You can work around your kids’ or spouse’s schedule; however, this also means you have to be dedicated to your job, set deadlines for yourself, and take your work seriously. Being organized is a must.
6. Distractions are plentiful
Without being in an office setting, you won’t have anyone watching what you are doing. If you spend an extra hour on Facebook, no one will know. The problem is that getting distracted when working from home is way too easy. You can easily lose track of time and find yourself behind on your work. Set limits and systems to help keep you on track.
7. Explaining your work
No everyone will understand how you work from home. They have a hard time wrapping their mind around the concept because they have not be exposed to it. Be open with people and let them know what you do. Answer questions and help them become familiar with the work-at-home life.
8. Having a home/work life balance
Finding a good home/work life balance is one of the biggest challenges that comes with working from home. There will be times when all you will want to do is sit at your computer and work but you need to take breaks and have limits. As a milspouse, you know how precious family time is, so put away work for a bit. Spend time at home with your family, relaxing and making memories.
9. Sitting all day long
Don’t ignore your health. If you are working on a computer all day, you could be sitting too long. Make sure to get up every once in awhile and take a short break. Keep exercising or take short walks throughout the day.
10. Finding the right job
Finding the perfect work-at-home job can be a challenge. There are a lot of opportunities, but not all of them will work for you. Keep searching until you find the right job.