Falling in love and moving to another continent. This happened to my brother who found himself in Split in 2011, but what was he was supposed to do? He could teach English again, but it was not really for him. Instead, he chose to follow my path – to work from home. It was easy, as a natural programmer he could work anywhere in the world and still contribute to the company he worked for, back home in Baltimore. In fact, more and more people across the world whether as freelancers like me or remote employees like my brother, are choosing to work from home. However, what are the pros and cons of doing this?
The Difficulties You Need to Overcome (The Cons)
Discipline is the biggest hurdle most homers can find. There’s a world of distractions out there for you to avoid – chores, food in the fridge, daytime TV, and social media. Not to mention friends and family popping in or phoning up. You have to find your own motivation to push on and get work done, internalize your drive, and keep to strict targets and schedules. As well as being easy to under work, it’s very easy to over work.
Working from home while living in another country is another layer of difficulty. It vastly depends on your ability to learn a language, being able to become part of an expat or local community, and your loved one’s own network. Having lived abroad solo, I can tell you that it’s not easy to join in and feel part of any group. This can lead to the biggest problem for people who can work at home easily enough – loneliness. It is a solitary pursuit and if you also live alone and do not have friends around you, it can be incredibly tough. Meeting people is not so easy and can get harder. You need to be proactive in trying to meet people.
The Benefits of Working from Home (The Pros)
Now for the benefits of working from home – or even from abroad. First off, you are free to set your own schedule, especially as a freelancer. It is also easier to prioritize your workload. You are also more flexible in your ability to take time off. This means being able to take the children to school or attend meetings, to pop out for a long lunch, or visit the doctor or dentist. You can work wherever works for you – though a dedicated room helps, wearing whatever you want, there’s no morning or evening commute, and no micromanaging boss standing over your shoulders. In short, if you’ve got the discipline, you can move to any country and make a success while working from home.
Jocelyn Brown is a professional freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelancing and the versatility it allows her in covering many different topics and themes. When not at work she enjoys running, hikes in the country and making the most of the family time.
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