You Know You Work From Home When...

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Think telecommute jobs are just a fairy tale and no one can earn a living from the comfort of their own home? The most recent data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in the American Time Use Survey that “on the days that they worked, 24 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home.”

American Community Survey data from the Telework Research Network estimates that 20 to 30 million Americans are currently working from home at least one day a week with approximately 3 million based at home full time. This does not include small businesses, the self employed or unpaid volunteers, which bring the working-from-home count closer to 5.9 million people.

If that doesn’t seem like a whole lot, consider that at least 52 million people currently hold telecommuting-compatible jobs. As research reveals the beneficial impact telecommuting has on global warming, fuel supplies, company profits and traffic congestion, more work from home job opportunities are opening up.

Fairy tales can come true, but are you ready for what it’s really like to work from home? Take it from someone who’s been there: basing your business out of your house is never what you expect. Take a look at this list I compiled of responses from telecommuters when asked to complete the sentence:

You know you work from home when:

  • Going out to lunch means eating a Hot Pocket while walking the dog.
  • You never shut down, only restart, your computer.
  • Your cats are your co-workers.
  • Your time card has a strange sticky substance on one side and the exterminator's number scribbled on the other.
  • The mailman knows that it's pay day because you're waiting at the door with car keys in hand looking at your watch when he arrives.
  • Bathroom breaks result in scrubbing and bleaching.
  • You can freely watch videos NSFW (not safe for work).
  • PJs are your uniform.
  • Getting dressed up means putting on something other than flip flops.
  • 2 a.m. is an acceptable time to clock in.
  • You are never late because of traffic.
  • You aren't distracted by water cooler talk.
  • You jiggle the ink cartridge a million times to get every last drop of color out of it.
  • Office supplies can be pillaged from your children’s book bags.
  • There are no sick days.
  • Vacation means working double-hard the week before and after your time off (and sometimes during).
  • Getting dressed below the waist is optional for online meetings.
  • Getting ready for a conference call includes bribing children and barricading pets.
  • Every room in your house is an office.
  • You can write off unusual expenses.
  • Your computer is covered with crayons, stickers, crumbs and dog slobber.
  • You haven't put on shoes for a week.
  • You have the ability to eat, type, talk on the phone, and tell your partner to “Shhhhh!” simultaneously.
  • Time off means not getting paid.
  • You can truly say you know what it feels like to never leave the office.
  • Brainstorming sessions happen in the shower.
  • In-person interaction with people happens every few weeks.
  • Your car only know one gear – park.
  • The pavement under your car hasn't seen rain in months.
  • Your commute time is 30 seconds or less.
  • Your spouse comes home to find you in the same spot as when they left.
  • No one gets in trouble when you sleep late.
  • A siesta is scheduled into your workday.

All joking aside, it can be fun and financially rewarding to work from home. Try to find your fantasy job today!

Image courtesy of koratmember at FreeDigitalPhotos.


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  • Mark
    Every room in your home is an office, including the kitchen where you can stand, eat, and text. I love working from home with my wife--and toddler--and now we get to help other people do the same. It's very rewarding. I love to coach people so they can have this lifestyle, if they want it.
  • Heather Fairchild
    Heather Fairchild
    Patricia, I'd recommend checking out any company requesting a start up fee at the Better Business Bureau. Also look at sites like to see what employees think of the companies.  
  • Patricia S
    Patricia S
    Informative article.  I have been wanting to find a website thats legitimate and does not scam you.  I have people call me all the time,but they want a big pile of money from you first.  

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