The Differences Between Working for a Company at Home and Working for Yourself

I’ve been self-employed, working from home for nine years now, but before that, I dipped my toes into working from home while I was working as a community college instructor.  Working at home is a lifestyle that suits me, but there is a big difference between working at home while employed with a brick and mortar company versus working for yourself.

Working for a Brick and Mortar Company

More and more employers are offering their employees the chance to work from home part-time or full-time.  There are both benefits and drawbacks to this situation.


There are many benefits to working at home rather than going to the office every day, but these are two of the biggest:

Employee Benefits Are Retained

One of the best benefits is that you retain your employee benefits.  You keep your life insurance, health insurance, and retirement fund.  If your employer matches your retirement savings, you get to keep that.

Reduced Commute

When you work at home at least some days per week, you reduce your commute, which saves you money on gas, car repairs, and overall wear and tear on your vehicle.  If you have a long commute, you also reclaim hours that were previously spent driving.


There are some important drawbacks that often make people believe working at home some days per week just isn’t worthwhile.

May Feel the Need to Prove Yourself

When you work from home and most of your colleagues are still showing up at the office each day, you may feel the need to prove yourself.  When I was working from home two days a week, I did a lot of work, but I felt a bit like I wasn’t pulling my weight because I wasn’t showing up to the office every day.  You may find that your colleagues harbor this prejudice, too.

Might Feel Disconnected from Colleagues

There is a certain camaraderie that develops when you share office space with the same people day after day.  When you are gone several of the days of the week, you lose that connection.  Between feeling like you need to prove yourself and feeling disconnected from colleagues, you may start to feel uncomfortable when you do need to go into the office.

Working for Yourself

While you’re still working at home when you work for yourself, there are many differences between working at home while working for a brick and mortar company.


More Motivated to Complete Work

When you work for yourself at home, you may feel more motivated and excited to get work done because when you do, you’re advancing your own ideas and position.  I definitely feel a freedom working on my own work at home versus when I worked at home for a company.

More Creative Freedom

You get to make all of your own decisions when you’re self-employed.  Do you want to go to a conference in your field?  You decide.  Do you want to learn a new skill and expand your business?  That’s your decision, too.  Having this freedom helps some people grow their businesses in impressive ways.


As wonderful as being self-employed is, there are drawbacks.

No Employee Benefits

Losing employee benefits is one of the biggest drawbacks to working at home for yourself.  However, you can make arrangements to open your own retirement account as a self-employed individual.

Can Be Lonely

If you’re an extroverted person, you may find working at home isolating.  If you’re an introvert, it may be just what you need.  You know what kind of person you are.  If you are someone who needs to be around people constantly, you’ll likely do better working for a brick and mortar company and going into the office at least some times.

While working at home when employed at a brick and mortar company and doing so as a self-employed individual both give you the chance to stay home, they are very different in other ways.

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