When it comes to working from home, there are host of misconceptions floating about out there. Those that don’t work from home think it isn’t a ‘real’ business; those who do always treat it like one. There are misconceptions about this style of work coming from all angles. Below, we will seek to dispel a few of these misconceptions as well as give tips on how to beat them daily.

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First and foremost a home-based business is still a business and you need to treat it like you would any other! If you are not somebody that works from home then it is imperative that you understand everything there is to know about them. Firstly, if you have a friend that works from home you shouldn’t pander to the misconception that their schedule is going to be flexible. Whilst working from home does offer more control over working hours it doesn’t mean that there aren’t deadlines to meet. People that work from home have tight deadlines and will fit their schedule to meet them. So, if a friend can’t spend time with your because of their workload, then it is going to be about their workload and nothing else. Also, even though your friend may be doing something that they enjoy it doesn’t mean that their workload isn’t tough for them. An example of such is copywriting: even though your copywriting friend is a keen writer it doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle with their work. It doesn’t mean they don’t face difficulties during their working hours. Because of this you shouldn’t complain to them they are ‘living the dream’ when they mention their plights. Working from home is far from a ‘dream’.

But, as previously mentioned, it is not only those outside of the world of working from home that are guilty of having misconceptions about it. Those that do work in it are guilty of it too, and sometimes they can lead to devastating consequences for them. Sometimes those that do work from home  fail to realise that they still have a brand to build for their business. In the world of business brand is everything, so it can’t be forgone. But it is easy to forgo trying to build a brand when your business is home-based, granted, due to the lack of a ‘real working environment’ around you. The brand should still be built, however, and in this day and age it is easier to do than ever. Firstly, if your home opens its doors to a number of business related individuals throughout the day, such as accountants or financial advisors, then you should most definitely try to at least give the impression that you take pride in your home ownership. A clean house shows you are in control of your life. So, if you are ever expecting business related guests then you should most certainly take to giving your home a once over with the vacuum and duster. But it goes deeper than this still: if your home is constantly being visited by business officials then you should never curb your kerb appeal. The outside of your premises is the first thing that your customers and clients are going to see about your business when they turn up to it so it has to look as appealing as possible; you can visit Atkins for more details on how you can achieve a well-trimmed and healthy landscape outside of your home. In taking pride in the image given by your home you create a brand for both you and your business. This is because of the fact that you are showing yourself to be attentive to the little details and that you do indeed take pride in your work. And even when you don’t have anybody physically visiting your premises for business matters you still have to create a brand for yourself. Seeming bona-fide and legit as a business is a plight that all home-based ones struggle with. However, it is one that can be tackled due to the technological advances of today. With the advances in virtual office providers in recent years it is now possible for home-based businesses to seem to customers, for all intents and purposes, that they are in fact a traditionally office based business. When you use such a provider all of your correspondence, i.e. your mail, is sent to a traditional working environment before being forwarded to your address. This eradicates the stigma and still results in you getting your mail, so it’s a win-win. If you are an owner of a business that works under a residential address then you should seek the services of a virtual office provider. In doing so you can eradicate the stigma of working under a residential address and make yourself seem far more bona-fide than you actually are.

Other, somewhat crucial, misconceptions attached to working from home are those regarding pay and legal matters. First and foremost, if you are a home-business owner then you should still ensure that you yourself are paid in a timely and proper fashion. Regardless of whether or not your business can really afford to at the time you must still ensure that you are getting enough out of it each month in order to maintain a good standard of living. Also, you must never let loyalties, friendships or even feelings get in the way of you chasing the money owed to you. If a customer, even if it is a friend of yours, has an outstanding debt that they owe to you then you should chase it down quickly. Without the safety net of an accountant or financial advisor it is especially hard to keep on top of all your incomings and outgoings; a way to do so is utilise a service such as Google Sheets that, like Excel, allows you to coherently keep a track of all of your vital business data, only instead using online technology. And something that is even more crucial than your pay is the legal payments that you simply must make. Notably this means that you can’t avoid the regulatory tax procedures that are in place in the country in which your business is based. It is  important that you declare to the correct authorities that you are doing business in your own account and not just claiming that you are doing so in order to avoid paying tax. And if you are hell-bent on cutting into your tax payments then there are ways to do so, only legally; these include paying off your mortgage, keeping on top of your bookkeeping and always making claims that you are well within your rights to make. If you don’t want to drown your business in a sea of hot water then you must make sure that you are not avoiding tax payments either knowingly or even unknowingly.

Aside from legal matters there are other plights that every work-from-homer faces each day. One of these problems is the plight of procrastination. To stop any lackadaisical approaches when it comes to work you should try moving about. By leaving your work for a while, going for a walk, and then returning to it your mind will be refreshed and raring to go once more. Anybody that wishes to make a success of the work they do at home the work must still always be completely on time. This means that home-workers must remain self-motivated throughout the whole of the working day that they have set themselves. If you ever take to working from home you must not allow for distractions in your home to, well, distract you; you must never allow for your neighbour to come round for a cup of tea and cut into an hour of your working day; and you must never let any children in your life stop you from meeting a deadline. If needs be, you should seek professional child-care assistance to help you with children throughout your day. If you are a WAHM (a work from home mom) then there are always ways to find a balance between the two very important aspects of your life.

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So, the next time somebody tells you they are now working from home or that they have started their own home-based business, don’t shoot them looks of derision and claim that it isn’t a ‘real’ job, because it most certainly is! And those of you that do work from home make sure to never fall into the trap that is treating your work as if it isn’t genuine, because it genuinely is! Working from home is a growing trend in the world of work in this day and age which is why it is important to rid it of all its misconceptions. You never know one day you might find yourself working from home!


Mitch Carvalho

A full-time home-based Marketing Manager by day, 24/7 Mom, and a Blogger at any time. I’m 43 and proud. Mom of Derelle & Erchelle, sharing my adventures as I walk through motherhood and having to do most things on my own while my Indian national husband works miles away from home.