I think most people can agree that they would love to work from home. There are definitely pros and cons to freelancing and working from home, but overall I love it, especially since I am a highly sensitive person. Studies have shown that open office concepts are a nightmare for HSPs, who get overwhelmed by things like lights, sounds, and stress. So, being able to work in your home, your sanctuary, can be amazing.
Cons of Working From Home:
Of course there will be downsides. For me, as an INFJ, I sometimes do miss the camaraderie and social situations that come from working with others face-to-face. I don't really get free lunch from the boss or get to go for social hour with my co-workers. This can make working at home feel lonely at times.
Another con is that when you work from home, you often are a freelancer. This isn't the case for everyone, but as a freelance writer, I don't get benefits, paid time off, health insurance, money into a retirement fund by an employer, etc. But for me, the flexibility of my schedule and working from home is more important to me than benefits.
Another funny thing about being a freelancer and working from home is that many people think you don't work all day! This always boggles my mind... how do they think I bought a house, pay my bills, etc.? Yes, I have more flexibility in the time I can take off, I can bring my laptop and work elsewhere, I can clean or run errands during the day, but that doesn't mean I don't work as hard as you do in an office. Sometimes I am probably more motivated without so many distractions from others.
Pros of Working From Home:
Let's get into the pros. Right now, I do have a set schedule where I generally work 10 am - 6 pm per weekday. However, I am allowed to work other hours and take days off whenever I need to. I absolutely love this flexibility! I have also had other jobs where I didn't even have a set time I had to work. There is nothing better than being able to make appointments during the week when places are less busy.
I know that I feel less stress and anxiety because of my working situation. I am able to work in a place I am comfortable, which really helps out if I am not feeling well one day or am feeling particularly anxious. I can essentially head to work in my pajamas if I want to.
How You Can Start Working From Home Too!
If you are a highly sensitive person and really want to work from home, here are my suggestions (I've been freelancing for about 8 years now, but keep in mind, I was not always able to do it full-time and pay the bills completely by working from home like I am now!):
Do you work from home too? What are your pros and cons? Or are you looking for a work from home job?
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I've been reading "The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World" by Nancy Colier. In fact, last night I was reading in bed, with tears streaming down my face. Not because the book is inherently sad, but because it made me realize how often we all use our phones and ignore each other.
It made me think about my childhood, before phones and Internet were so prevalent in society. I was super creative. I was always writing, drawing, or reading. I was an only child, so I was often making up stories about my stuffed animals alone in my room. I wasn't bored. I was happy doing all of this stuff.
First the Internet came along. I became obsessed. I always wanted to be on my computer playing The Sims, talking to my friends on AIM, or doing whatever else I was doing. I honestly don't really remember, which makes all the time I spent on it even that more depressing.
I also remember when Facebook and smartphones came along. While I was on board with phones from the start, I do remember not wanting to join Facebook. Finally my friends wore me down. Even in high school and college, I thought that once I was graduated, Facebook wouldn't be a place I would want to spend my time anymore. Boy was I wrong.
Now with smartphones, you can literally be somewhere else wherever you are. You don't have to deal with reality. You don't have to deal with boredom. So many nights my fiance and I are in the same room, but both engulfed in our phones. I know we aren't alone. Phones are always in sight when people get together. We are really never one-on-one anymore. There is always seemingly something better to do or someone more interesting to talk to, which honestly makes me cry if I think too much about it. It makes me feel horrible when I realize how many times I've done this to others because it also makes me feel ignored and unvalued when other people do it to me.
I don't think smartphones, the Internet, and technology as a whole are evil. There are so many positives to connecting with others and having so much information at our fingertips. We just have to remember that we own the devices; they do not own us. There are so many times I've tried to "detox" from social media and my phone and break after hours or days. Why does it have such a pull on us?
It isn't new news anymore that our smartphones are literally making us anxious and depressed. From comparing ourselves to others online, stalking our exes, always feeling "on" and available, there are so many reasons we are literally giving ourselves anxious and depressed feelings from using this technology. We need a break.
It is especially important for highly sensitive people to re-evaluate their relationship with their phones and social media. We feel so deeply and can pick up energy from others based on what we read. To protect ourselves, we have to be careful about what we fill our minds with. Not to mention, we are very creative and being sucked into your phone can push down those creative juices.
There are times I want to get rid of social media for good. I don't know if I ever will, but I know I will keep making a conscious effort to put my phone away when I am with others and I will try to be "bored" more often. There are so many other things to do besides play on your phone and I think we all forget that sometimes.
What do you think? Do you feel addicted to your phone? Do you think it makes you anxious, depressed or boring?
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Highly Sensitive Person Blog