Many office workers often talk about how much they would love to work from home. These types of individuals are usually burned out from the typical workplace that requires one to abide by rules, show up on time, and stay confined to one area for a good portion of the day. As many come to find, though, working from home isn’t all that it’s made out to be.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t some definite perks to working from the comfort of your home. While most people are required to work similar hours to what they would work at a conventional job, there is usually a bit more flexibility that comes from being your own boss. Even when you’re still technically working for a company, it’s nice to have that extra bit of freedom.

Employees Who Work from Home Tend to be Happier

Not surprisingly, those who have the freedom to work at home tend to be significantly less stressed and are usually in better health. This increase in wellbeing applies to mental health as well as physical health. Office workplace often requires one to meet certain deadlines within a short period while navigating through the obstacles of the everyday work environment. More stress usually equals less productivity.

Studies have shown that those who work from their homes tend to be far more productive than in a standard office setting. While one might think that an increase of freedom would cause a decrease in self-discipline, the opposite is typically true. Being exposed to potentially hostile work environments on a regular basis can cause otherwise happy individuals to succumb to a toxic atmosphere.

While it can be very rewarding to work in your pajamas from your living room, keep in mind that you still have to work. The same types of deadlines and quotas are still present, just with a little more flexibility. Failing to live up to reasonable job expectations too often can result in the same types of consequences that most standard jobs impose.

If you’re still determined to work from home but wish you had more options regarding when you work and how productive you are, consider working for yourself entirely. Keep in mind that it’s more difficult to do this if you don’t specialize in a trade or have a basic sense of business economics. Depending on what you thrive at, though, the latter might not be as important.

Should You Work for Yourself or an Employer?

Making this decision boils down to what you specialize in. If you are used to data-entry and tech support work, you might be better off working for companies that work remotely. If, however, you possess a talent for writing, video making, or photography, you might be able to make it as a freelancer. Keep in mind, this route usually requires a greater sense of independence and self-motivation.

Companies that allow employees to work telecommute positions still lay out ground rules and guidelines. As a freelancer, your clients are your employer. Building a positive reputation and business ethic within your profession is typically a prerequisite for living off true self-employment. Another option is working with various agencies where you are still technically an independent contractor.

Internet video companies, blogs, or web content development agencies often have assignments for freelancers. This method of employment is a type of middleman between working for yourself and working for a company. You can often choose when you work and the kinds of jobs you take on, provided that you can meet the expectations of clients.

Regardless of whichever method of employment you choose, it’s important to consider your mental wellbeing first and foremost. Structure and flexibility are both necessary components for stable, happy employment. Still, everyone’s needs for these aspects vary. Just seize whatever job opportunity you know will leave you satisfied temporally and financially.