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Old 09-30-2012, 09:51 PM
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Does anyone else ever feel like they would rather work from home? I really don't like driving an hour to work every day and I can't imagine ever working a job again where I can't have my dogs with me.

I've been wanting to be able to stay home for SO long now, but at the same time I need to be able to bring in income. I need to make at least $1200 a month on my end since Josh makes the rest of what we need and then some with his side jobs that he does.

Does anyone here actually work from home? Are there any companies you can work for from home or do you generally need to be running your own company in order to really work from home? I'm just really curious about it because I'm so sick of going to a job every day when I could work from the comfort of my own home and be able to make more time to really dedicate to training the dogs.

Ever since I started working again I've really neglected on other areas of my life. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to work with dogs every day, but I come home and absolutely dread cleaning, cooking, etc. I don't hardly EVER wear makeup anymore because I can't find the effort to put it on and I'm so exhausted by the time I get home from work that I don't want to spend much time with friends, even on my days off.

I'd LOVE the opportunity to work from home doing something. Heck, I'd love to be able to run my own business from home, but I can't seem to really figure out what to stick with that I know I can actually succeed in.

Any thoughts? ideas?
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:55 PM
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I work from home since I have a traveling dog training business (I meet clients at their homes or parks for additional distractions, all one on one).

I really love it, but I do miss the camaraderie of an office. It can also be all too easy to get into unproductive ruts when one is home all day, every day. LOL
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:59 PM
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From time to time I was able to work from home in IT (every Friday on certain projects, for a week at a time for training, definitely on sick days or days the repairman was coming, etc).

I was horrible at it. I am the most unproductive person when there is no accountability. I'd do laundry, dishes, vacuum...but very little work. It was fine--I got my stuff done M-Th--but working at home was not a good choice for me.

I did have one period of about 3 weeks that I worked from home between projects. It was SO lonely. I became depressed not having a social outlet each day. I definitely need human interaction with people to function at my best!

Other people love it though...so my experience definitely isn't the rule.

If you can't find a work-from-home job, is there a middle ground for you? Something that is closer to home (an hour away is a long time in the car!), something that would allow you to make your own hours around your dog commitments, something in a traditional environment that pays well enough to only have to do it part time, etc?
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:01 PM
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I can definitely do a middle ground.

Honestly... I'd love to be able to do photography again as an income, but my camera just doesn't take photos the way it used to and I don't have photoshop anymore. My motor on my camera is basically on it's last legs and I really really need a new camera.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:04 PM
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Could you see if a photographer near you needs an assistant? That's likely to be a flexible gig and you might be able to score used equipment, too.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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I'm going to be honest here, not to be mean in ANY way but to offer sound advice based on my and other's experiences.

I think with your anxiety issues, working from home is not a good idea right now. It's HARD to work in the place that can generate a lot of your anxiety. It's the very reason I had to get out and get a day job. Working from home is not a distraction from home problems, it often magnifies them. It was sucking me under. So easy to fall into a slump and just never come out.

Once I got a good job out of the house part-time, working from home part-time became 1000 percent easier, and between both I bring in good income. Perhaps part-time work from home is good to start pursuing right now? In terms of photography, you don't need Photoshop to start out. Pick up Elements or a starter copy of Lightroom. Heck, you can even get really good at GIMP to start, and it's free! There are options.

Knowing what I know of your home life, your job and your situation in general (which I like to think is a moderate amount based on what you've told us on the forum) I think you do better with the camaraderie, getting out of the house and having something with real structure in your life right now. I don't air my life on Chaz (not to bash those who do, personal choice) but my life has a lot of parallels to yours right now in terms of home life, and it is NOT a situation where I can sanely work from home on any more than a part-time basis. I hope that changes in the future. Working from home is something much easier to pursue when life is a lot more stable.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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I would be awful at it. I need interaction and I know I would be too tempted just to sit at home all day. I do wish my hours were more flexible though so I could go walk the dogs in the afternoon or something. I'd totally rather work late and get a dog walking break than what I do now. But I like the benefit of having benefits and a stable income.

But I really would just be too lonely.

ETA: I've really battled with anxiety and depression and I think getting out and going to the office and getting up and getting dressed semi-decently does help with that. I just see it being really easy to fall into a slump if I don't HAVE to get out. At least for me.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:14 PM
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I usually find that people who work from home/start their own businesses are far busier than those who have regular jobs. There is no separation between work/free time, no office friends/socialization in that way, no office security net/secured salary..you've gotta work harder to stay afloat..

My mom worked from home and started her own foundation and found it much more stressful than her office job. Personally, it wouldn't be something I would want to do. There was no "go to work. go home and be done with it." because she worked from home, people always assumed she was free (which is SUCH a pain, because it's like, ya, I'm working but people are like whatever you work from home, please come do x, y, z) things got side-tracked, things didn't get finished on time and "work hours" turned into "all the time".
This especially goes for starting your own business. It's a leap. It's paying for your own health insurance, it's not having a steady "can be counted on" salary, it's money to start, it's not having set vacation days and sick days, no superiors, a good idea to begin with, etc....

It's easy to romanticize the idea.. and I've seen it go both well and horribly awry.
but honestly, if you make those things a priority (cooking, personal appearance, cleaning etc..) they will get done. but otherwise, it's not like being at home will free up all this extra time.. work is still going to be pretty time consuming and tiring no matter how you swing it. Especially when you need to be bringing in a certain amount per month (since most work at home jobs are commission based).

It's SO EASY to fall into a slump, to not get work done, to not make deadlines, to have to worry about making that amount (which might not happen no matter how many hours you put in..which can be frustrating), and of course.. the whole idea of being home all. the time. It's easy to think of all the fun things you could get done at home but honestly, try to look at both sides of the coin. Being HOME day in and day out..you could get a lot of things done but you could also fall into a slump or be so anxious in your home from having to deal with work there or just be so lonely and bored of staring at the same 4 walls you want to punch through the drywall.

Personally? working from home is not my cup of tea. I'd go stir crazy and need the separation of home life vs work life. Not to mention the people at work, being out and about, the steady paycheck, vacation days, health plan etc..

It's something I would think long and hard about.
Everyone I know who has started it (in lieu of starting their own business) has opened up an office space as soon as they could.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:17 PM
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Oh and speaking of the commute.. I have a kind of long commute as well. It takes me like 45 minutes-an hour.
I have found that utilizing public transport has really helped! It's not an hour being stressed or stuck in traffic or driving.. instead, it's an hour I get to read, study, take a nap etc..
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:18 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Fran does have a really good point about the work-home balancing act being harder when you work from home. I've have set "work hours" for myself and the cutoff time is sacred. I don't check work email or work on work tasks outside of my set hours on weekdays or on weekends, except in VERY rare circumstances. Not very many people think to do that, and work can easily consume you without realizing in this sort of environment.
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