Poll: As a freelancer working fromhome, what do you find most difficult to deal with?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:59
Sep 25, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "As a freelancer working fromhome, what do you find most difficult to deal with?".

This poll was originally submitted by Roberta Anderson

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:59
Dutch to English
+ ...
Forgot two options Sep 25, 2005

I think two options are missing:
All of the above

I wanted to answer but find I can't since I do not have a problem with any of the areas as such and can't think of any other issues I might really have a problem with except maybe lack of time. Sometimes issues can be difficult or irksome but never really a problem.


Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:59
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
"most" - any issue that stands out? Sep 25, 2005

Thank you Marijke.

I think that as freelancers working from home there are indeed several issues (I intentionally avoided the term "problem" in wording this quick poll) that we have to deal with, some easier than others, and some which might require more of an effort on our part than others.

I proposed a few which stand out in my mind, from my own perception/experience, and would be interested to hear about which ones among these or any "Other" (to define here) are considered the "most" difficult by colleagues.

If all isues have for us the same level of difficulty, then I'd say that either we have no real trouble with any of them, or we have so much trouble that we are possibly in wrong line of work?icon_wink.gif

You mention lack of time - this might come down to time management issues. Lack of time because of taking on too much work? because of difficulty with prioritisation of daily activities (work + other commitments)?

For me, different isues come to the forefront at different stages - right now (and at annoyingly recurring intervals), I find it difficult to cope with the physical isolation that working from home entails; about this time last year, professional development and lack of any promotion perspective was putting considerable strain on me.

I'd like to hear from others willing to share their experience.



Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Working from home Sep 25, 2005

That's what I find most difficult. It's not a problem of time management, it's a problem related to being unable just to disappear for working (that would be great if I could become invisible).
So I have to deal with the familiy problems that are easier solved being at home that "at work" (in an office) anyway.
Particularly children problem like:
phone call, mum can you come and pick me up, mum, can I bring a friend at home, mum, can I sleep in Gaelle's house, mum, he ate all the cake, mum, I need that dress today, mum, give me money, mum, the maths teacher wants to talk to you.
Most of these single questions can be answered by yes or no, but they interrupt everything, make you forget that you're "working" because you seem to be the only one who knows that.



Subhamay Ray (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:29
English to Bengali
+ ...
Nothing Sep 25, 2005

Even living in our mortal frames may be viewed as something "difficult" but if you ignore that I don't think I ever got it so easy. I think "isolation" is related more to temperament than anything else. There are people who won't be able to stay secluded in a room for long hours (and there is no harm) but there are others who might just love it. I was a civil servant for seven years and there can't be any comparison of what I had then and what I have now.

I am enjoying this, I like to live in isolation and I simply love the feeling that some leisure is just round the corner, and as soon as I finish the job at hand and meet my deadline, I will go back to C S Lewis's 'The Discarded Image' which I am reading now. I can't think of any other way of working which will allow me so much freedom. There are a few negative aspects but then show me any other vocation where you don't have them. I am really grateful that the profession of translation and working from home allowed me to be so productive intellectually and in a not so loud way like the academicians.

And I feel sympathetic to Claudia. I can understand that with small children in the house it wouldn't have been so easy!

My best wishes to everyone.



Rosa Cabral  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:59
English to Italian
+ ...
dividing home issues and home work Sep 25, 2005

I believe that the biggest issue is that when one is just starting out, as I am, on this new venture, it is seen as being available to resolve more issues on the home front.
I, too, have a young child, for which I must make allowances and am his chauffeur, his homework helper, his pillow when he is sick or something happened at school and he is quiet, etc.
That being said, I love the independance, setting my own work hours (frequently I burn the midnight oil) and the feeling of accomplishment when I see a job well done. I do well with people but as time progresses I realize I am not dependant on conversation or companionship so the "isolation issue" doesn't bother me.
Besides this, I find it hard to find clients... as a newcomer, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. But, "I will survive".
I hope the best to all and may this be a safe, healthy and prosperous year for all. Abi


Julio Torres
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another problem Sep 25, 2005

I have a 3 years old child. How can I say "I'm working, I can't play"?

When I'm not working, it's very nice to have time to spend with my son. But that's different when I'm working in a project.


Jake Estrada FCIL CL  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
Member (2003)
English to Tagalog
+ ...
prejudice--people don't understand your job Sep 26, 2005

Perhaps the most significant aspect of my job is the fact that the concept of not going out of your house to work is something that many people still don't understand or can't imagine--at least in our culture here in my country.

And when they realize that the returns from such an endeavor are much better than that of reporting for an 9-to-5 white-collar office job, more eyebrows are raised.

Though this predicament could turn from amusing to exhausting at times (imagine the need to explain your job to every new acquaintance you meet)--the real issue actually hits you when you deal with matters regarding your finances, foremost of which is applying for bank loans (wherein you will have to explain how you were able to derive such earnings while you were inside your house all the time).

There are even instances when I find myself in situations where I have to defend myself and my profession. The older and/or less educated people here have the tendency to speculate that I am engaged in some sort of clandestine activity because I rarely leave the house, but I am up all night and I have a good amount of resources and assets. Even the younger set who have been sufficiently exposed to the Internet still need quite a lot of convincing--something that I have learned not to pursue anymore.

There was even a time when my bank (where I retained my account for almost a decade) suddenly called me up and asked for documentation to prove that I am not engaged in money laundering (!)

These things are part of the hard reality that freelancers such as myself have to face here in our country, which is actually ironic in the face of the very prevalent use of the Internet here. I believe the prime hindrance is an under-educated (or mis-educated) general public with regards to understanding the dynamics and potentials of telecommuting and home-based working. Add to that an old-fashioned culture and the so-called "crab mentality" that unfortunately my compatriots are famous for having.

In my case, this is the matter that I find most difficult to deal with, regarding my profession.


Alison Schwitzgebel
Local time: 19:59
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Ditto Sep 28, 2005

Julio Arturo Torres Jaubert wrote:

I have a 3 years old child. How can I say "I'm working, I can't play"?

When I'm not working, it's very nice to have time to spend with my son. But that's different when I'm working in a project.

But make that a 7-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, 2 cats, one dog, a couple of chickens, a horse.....

Thank goodness my husband is around during the day!icon_wink.gif


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