“Oh, how wonderful it must be to work from home!” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that… but it’s true in so many ways.

I know that if I worked in an office for set hours my life would be very different. I’d have to actually get dressed before I went to work, for one thing; making a pot of coffee and sitting down to work in my pajamas is a real pleasure. I’d have to pack a lunch, or spend money buying one, instead of snacking my way through the day. I’d be even further behind on the laundry than I am currently, floors would get swept even less frequently, meals would be very different, I’d need a dog-walker, and the garden would look like – well OK , I’ll give you that. The garden is a mess by August no matter what my good intentions are in May.

But there is a downside to working from home as well. I am a member of a local networking group, and at our weekly meeting this morning I was again reminded of how isolating working from home can become. Sometimes days will go by without my speaking to anyone except my husband and the dogs. My husband is a wonderful man, but totally uninterested in all things web, and while I love the pups to bits, they don’t seem all that interested in hearing how my day went, when the other choice is a run and a cookie.

Working from home does mean that I can be flexible; I will take an afternoon to go riding on a gorgeous fall day, and make up the hours by working into the night. But then too, many of my clients seem to think that since I freelance and work from home, they can call me anytime; early mornings, evenings, weekends. I do try to be accommodating to my clients – for example, if a job requires a business site to go offline for a while, I will often try to schedule that work for an evening or a weekend, so that the downtime doesn’t happen during business hours.

As  working professional, I need to balance my time between my work and the other aspects of my life – home, family, hobbies, etc.  and this can be tricky. As a close friend who also works from home says, “You never leave the office.”

But sometimes I shut the door.