7 Things I Hate About Working Online
The online job may be a dream for some, but it has its pitfalls.
I have been working online for about 7 years or more now and I played too many roles. I have been a Writer, Transcriber, Researcher, Social Media Managers, ESL teacher to Chinese Learners, Virtual Assistant and etcetera. What can I say, name it and I probably tried it already.
What I love about working online is the freedom and independence; not to mention the fact that I will be managing my own business. There will be no boss eyeing over your shoulder. No traffic jam to deal with every day. And the best part, you can wear your pajamas to work, or even work with messy hair. See? How amazing it is.
However, working online is not all about sparkles and sunshine. Working at home is very different from working in the office. There is comfort in working at home but also complacency in our physical presence. People around us, especially our family members, children, friends, neighbors forget that we are actually working. Interruptions are always there. Distractions are unavoidable. As a result, quality of our work is at stake. Therefore, working online is not for everyone. It’s only for the brave souls; who can struggle the distractions.
So are you a brave soul? If yes, then be prepared not just to fight for distractions and interruptions but also with some pitfalls you will probably hate while working online:
1. Difficulty to delineate work hour from the personal hour.
Believe me, this one is your prime struggle. It happens to me most the time. Imagine my dismay when I decided to turn my computer around 1 o’ clock in the morning since I could not stop thinking about my task. Not to mention how envious I was when my family is already asleep or when we are having a family bonding but I cannot be on time because I need to finish my task first.
No doubt, working at home makes me feel like every hour is still working hours. This is the reason why you need to have a working space at your house; your very own little office. And make it a habit online to work there. Having your own office make it easier to identify your working hours from personal hours.
2. Self-restraint is a continuing struggle.
Admit it. When you worked in an office, there were days where you would call in sick because you just feel like laying in bed all day long. I work in the government before too, and I always do it especially when exams were approaching in laws school. But when your working place is just a few steps away; it is much easier to dip out. And also, naps are pretty distracting.
So, working at home really needs a lot of self-control. You need to put in mind that even though working online has flexible time schedule; it is an actual job so take it seriously.
3. Self-distractions is real.
Every day it is my routine to set tabs on startup and check email accounts, my employer’s site, and social media accounts. Sort everything needed to be done for the day. Well, that is the easy part. The hard part is after the routine is done. I am really struggling to decide whether to work immediately or play a game first; not to mention the TV series I have been following and also my social media accounts. Sounds familiar huh?
Why not? Everybody loves some little diversion. But the thing is you need to learn how to identify your priorities. Know your center of attention. It is quite easy to just say “I will watch this video for a minute’, but ended up getting carried away and productivity suffers. The point is that your home might be the best place on the earth for you, but it can also be the nest of distractions for your work. Therefore, work hard on managing your time wisely.
4. Solitude is unswerving.
Chit-chatting during holidays, birthdays, family gathering and other unexpected occasions are just a few things you will miss in working online. Why? You are constantly late. Not to mention that I cannot play with my kids during those government-declared-special-holidays. Most likely when you are working online, your employers are foreigners who have different time zone with us. The case is that it is already Christmas in the Philippines but not yet in your employer’s place. And guess what, you need to follow their schedule.
Is it absorbs right? Well, if you love it that much, then working at home may not be a good thing for you. Unlike an actual workplace where you can always mingle with your co-workers; professionals working from home, even I, complain of isolation and loneliness which can be very depressing to some.
So what is the deal? Balance your time. Always finish your workload for each day. This way you can always find time to stay in touch with your friends, or plays with your kids or better, ask your boss to enjoy break since there is no workload to worry about anymore.
5. Did you Shower Today?
This is no joke people. Your lifestyle while working at home is very flexible but not healthy. Imagine finding yourself turning on the computer the moment you wake up and working while wearing your pajamas at three o’clock in the afternoon. This “I can always do it in the afternoon anyway” attitude is becoming a habit for virtual assistants or it’s just me?! Well, I secretly consider it a blessing not to take a cold bath at early morning.
But here is the deal, you can always have a healthy lifestyle even working online. You just have to tame yourself to value good hygiene. To be honest, it is quite a struggle for me but worth it.
6. Facilities and commodities are expensive.
Yes, I am talking about the personal computer, the internet connection, the electricity, and air-conditioning. Unlike working in an actual workplace where everything is provided, in working online you have to actually buy and cover the expenses for all mentioned above. Include in your list of expenses the repairs and improvements for your online business to grow.
Well, in this case, the key is proper budgeting. At first, it is hard to budget between your business and personal expenses. But I survived so you will probably do so too.
Another worse thing I hate working at home is electricity fluctuations. It causes a lot of problems like unsaved files, disconnected chats or calls, and computer problems or restarting the progress of your work. It is so frustrating since the only solution here is to have another backup source of electricity like a standby power generator which is very expensive. So if you cannot afford one, then just do not stress yourself out of it.
7. Clients who don’t pay.
The last but the most annoying among all the list is a fraud client. I know, it’s almost beyond belief that something as simple as ‘getting paid’ could be such a pervasive issue. Unfortunately, that’s the reality.
So how do we make sure that no work go unpaid? Of course, there are legal means to resort in order to get paid. But it’s much better to ensure from the beginning that you’ll be compensated for your efforts; so have a contract drawn and signed by both parties.
Be Grateful That You Have a Job.
As more and more professionals seek a better work-life balance and more companies adopt flexible policies to accommodate shifting time, the working online option is becoming increasingly viable.
Always remember that some people would beg to have your job, so don’t take it for granted. Sure, it may not be perfect or what you want to do for the rest of your life, but focus on what you can do in the present to make your job matter.
Working online is not just for anyone. It takes a lot of dedication, self-control, and discipline to motivate yourself to persevere in working at home alone over the long run without succumbing to the distractions and losing drive and momentum. If you’re that person who has never had a less-than-ideal job, then I salute you for being the luckiest person on earth. Pretty much everyone has had a job that they hated at least once in their life. However, the job you hate can be turned into the job you tolerate, if you handle it the right way. Isn’t it a challenge?