If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ll know that I had a recent consultation with a chiropractor. This was preceded with a complementary half-hour massage with a registered massage therapist and we got to talking about career choices while she was working on my back.
A Different Path for Everyone
Over the course of the conversation, it came up that she once considered having a home-based business for her massage therapy, but she ultimately decided against it.
For starters, she didn’t want to have strangers (clients) walking through her home to get to the massage therapy room. Myself, I don’t have that concern, because the vast majority of my contact with clients is online and, when I do meet with them in person, we typically meet outside of my home.
Riding the Ebb and Flow of Income
She was also concerned about the inevitable fluctuations in income, since she may have many clients one month and not nearly as many the next. This is a concern that comes up with freelancers too, which can make it difficult to accommodate proper vacation time too. You have to do something to help regular clients when you’re away, after all.
As a very social person, she said that she would miss the co-worker banter and camaraderie that happens each day she comes into the office. Working from home, this can be more of a challenge. I still go network and reach out for social contact, but it is quite different than the regular office environment.
Separating the Spheres
When you work from home, it can be difficult to “get away” from the work, since it is always there waiting for you. At any hour of the day, you can get in some work, so you feel like you should be working. The massage therapist said that she valued structure and wanted an easier time leaving at work. For my career, the separation between work and play isn’t always so distinct.
In the end, she made the right decision for her personal preferences and current situation. Her home isn’t really well-configured to have a massage therapy business and she feels better with steady income, a separate office, and a greater level of daily social interaction. For me, the pros of working from home outweigh the cons, but that’s not the same for everyone.