Pros and Cons of Working on the Internet From Home

Updated on November 27, 2018
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Anti-Valentine started freelancing in 2008, as well as blogging, hubbing, affiliate marketing, and other forms of online money making.

Working from home. It’s what I have done for the last several years. In fact, I haven’t ever had a “real” job – and frankly I don’t want one either. I don’t feel the need to sell my soul and work from 9 AM to 5 PM every day as a blue collar workhorse or be stuck behind a desk in a cramped cubicle.

But working from home isn’t for everyone. You have to be motivated, and you can’t quit if you want to make it. You’ll likely work as hard if not harder when working at home on your own, but there are some perks in addition to the downsides of working from home, and I’m going to go through a few of each in this article.

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Qualifications aren't a necessity

Sure, having qualifications is great, but you don’t need them. The thing is if you are self-employed, you don’t have to go through an interview process, and you don’t need to have a lot of stuff on your CV. What really matters, just like in the real world, is work experience; practical know-how.

You are your own boss, so as long as you do whatever it is your do and do it well, you don’t need a piece of paper to tell yourself or others that you can do it. Unlike the real world, you don’t need to get to a certain level before someone will take you on. You can dive straight in if you have an idea, you’re good at what you do, and you’re determined to make it work.

You can work your own hours

You don’t have to slog at it for the prescribed number of hours. You can work less, or you can work more. It depends on what sort of service you’re providing. You can take breaks when you want, you can take time off when you have an appointment, and you don’t need to take a personal day or a sick day, or ask permission. You can take a vacation if and when you need it. If you earn income passively online, you’ll earn even when you’re on leave, so it’s essentially a paid vacation!

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No rush hour

You don’t have to get up earlier than everyone else to avoid the morning rush, and you won’t have to get caught up in the traffic on the way home either. If you have children, you’ll probably still end up getting held up a bit on the roads when picking them up from school, but one out of three in this case isn’t too bad.

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You can take your work with you

Working at home suits some people because they can take their work with them. You aren’t restricted to working in an office or a cubicle. You can take your laptop, tablet, or smartphone wherever you go and as long as you have internet access, you’ll be fine.

As far as payments go, particularly by cheque, you can just change your address if you plan on receiving a payment at a different location, or put a hold on your payments so you can be there to receive them when you get back. If you receive payments via PayPal or EFT, then you needn’t worry about any of this.

Peace and quiet

One thing I’ve found about working from home is that you aren’t bothered by the hustle and bustle of the office work environment. And because your schedule is a lot more flexible, you can work at night when it's generally quieter depending on where you live. The suburbs, having lived there the majority of my life, are usually very quiet on a week night.

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More than one income stream

Working a regular job means you’ll more than likely have one income stream, unless you are holding down more than one job – which means you’re trading an immense amount of time in exchange for money. Online this needn’t be the case. You can have multiple income streams on one website alone by signing up for multiple affiliate programs or by putting up multiple income earning strategies. It can become tiresome if you have too much on the go at the same time, and that’s why it is my belief that passive income earning strategies are best, because it means that if you want to try something else, you can put one project on hold and it will still earn money for you while you focus your attention somewhere else.

Less costly to set up

Setting up a business can be costly what with having to acquire or rent a premises, security to prevent things from being stolen, insurance, taking loans from the bank. When I first started online, the only thing I was paying for was my internet connection. From there, once those costs had been covered, everything I made was profit. I didn’t have to pay rent, I didn’t have to hire security or set up any additional security around the home. The most you will pay if you set up your own website is money towards a domain name, and hosting, in addition to your internet access cost.

You don't have to retire

If you enjoy what you do, you can work until your dying day, seeing as there’s nobody to tell you at age 60 or 65 that you need to retire and be replaced by someone less experienced. This gives you a lifetime of earning a disposable income.

People will look down on you

The snobby variety of people won’t take you seriously if you don’t have a proper company, or a company car and all the perks that come with it. That and even the not so snobby variety won’t really like you either, but that’s probably just down to jealousy. A certain amount of this being looked down upon could be due to your general attitude or the way you do business, so make sure to always look presentable – just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can look like a slob. Dress well even if it is casual, and always do your best to act professionally.

Companies often don’t cater to the home businesses

This is especially the case, I find, when it comes to internet access. In the city it is crucial that ADSL is provided to big business, because that’s where the high paying consumer base is, and ISPs will make a lot of money. But if you run a home business, and happen to be outside the city, in a more residential area, or even on the urban fringe, you’re going to encounter a bit of a problem, because at least where I live, Telkom won’t put an ADSL line in. I’ve checked this before with their ADSL checker, my neighbours don’t have ADSL lines, and I’m certainly not paying one of their technicians a costly callout fee to tell me what I already know. So then the alternative to mobile broadband, and even then there can be a problem with 3G, for instance, because the coverage out my way is patchy at best with several networks. And as well as know, internet access is crucial to being able to earn a living online. That much goes without saying.

The same could be said for Eskom and their insistence on power outages to save electricity. I hate it when that happens, because then that means I’m losing out on valuable time that I could be writing, or online publishing content, or marketing it.

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Distractions

Working at home can be hard because of the distractions. All too often you’ll be tempted to switch on the TV, or listen to the radio, or play games, or access your social media accounts and so on.

Also, if you live with people in your house, they too can interrupt you when you are busy.

This is why it is important to set up your own home office. Either get en empty room in your home, even if it is a basement or an attic and set up there if you can, or perhaps build a shed or small building, if possible (and legal), on your property. Then you can still “go to work” even though it’s on your own property, and you can then separate your professional life from your personal life to some degree. Your family will have to understand that sometimes work has to come first and they should respect your need for privacy and not interrupt you.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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