Common Work From Home Myths & Misconceptions

by WorkFromHome on December 29, 2011

If you have joined the many people who have gotten off the work treadmill and decided to work from home, you are in good company. The work at home movement is growing at an exponential rate, with the economy causing many businesses to cut costs by sending their employees home to work. Working from home can be very rewarding. There are, however, many misconceptions that are associated with working from home. Debunking these myths is the first step in making others take your work seriously

Myth #1: You’re Not Really Working

The most common misconception about at home workers is that they don’t do any actual work. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many industries, from hospitality to tourism and e-commerce employ at home workers to fill orders, make reservations and handle customer complaints. Most airlines and hotels hire their reservations sales agents on an at-home basis. At home workers often do more work than those in traditional offices. They spend less time on time-wasters such as unproductive meetings, idle chatting, coffee breaks, web surfing and distracting co-workers. At home workers may work fewer hours but get far more work done than they could in a traditional office. To debunk this myth, explain to people your job description and examples of any goals you have achieved.

Myth #2: You Don’t Earn “Real” Money

Many at home workers are paid electronically through an online payment processing service. For this reason, many people mistakenly believe that people who work from home aren’t paid “real” money. Some workers have to constantly explain that “online money” is real, tangible tender that can be used to buy groceries, pay rent and invest. This misconception is a hard one to fight, as most people are used to being paid with a paper check and don’t understand how online payment gateways work. Sites such as PayPal offer a debit card that employees can use to receive their earnings. Debunking this myth requires an explanation of what a payment gateway is and how they work.

Myth #3: You’re Available During the Day

This is arguably one of the most difficult myths to combat if you are an at home worker or run a work from home business. People assume that because you are at home during the day that you are free to do whatever you want. This is often not the case. In most cases, if you work in customer service, you are tethered to the computer with a headset or a chat window. In other cases, you may be required to be visible on a video conferencing program.

To combat the idea that you are free during the day, keep regular office hours and let family and friends know that you are at work during those hours. Keep an office in your home that is separate from other living areas, preferably a room with a door. Answer calls with your company name to signal to callers that you are not free to chat. Don’t do favors for others that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were working in a traditional office. This will obliterate the myth that you are just hanging out around the house doing nothing all day.

Myth #4: You’re Not Running a Real Business

Some people have very strongly ingrained ideas about what a business should look like. Many expect a storefront or an office when thinking of what makes a business legitimate. Branding yourself or your work at home business will give you a big business feel on a small business budget.

Create a professional website that will attract customers and give the impression that you are a capable business. Use a virtual office as your mailing address instead of your home address. If you do use your home address, use the word “suite” instead of apartment when corresponding with clients.

Create a dedicated phone line that will only be used for business and answer it in your company’s name. Some work at home businesses sign up with a 1-800 service that patches calls through from a toll-free number directly to their home or cell phone. A toll free number will give you instant credibility and you will be seen as a serious business.

Myth #5: Working from Home is Easy

Working from home is flexible, rewarding and profitable, but it is not a walk in the park. At home workers face the same problems that traditional workers face, with a few more that are unique to working at home. Problems with management, scheduling issues and miscommunication is part of the job when you telecommute. In addition, isolation, misconceptions from others and loneliness can make working from home difficult. While working from home confers many benefits, it is still work.

Many work at home jobs require you to be at your computer for a set amount of time without interruption. Other companies monitor your work and productivity, making sure that you are available during work hours.

Working from home is a great way to earn a living. By fighting common myths, you will enjoy support of family and friends.

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