Legitimate work-at-home jobs are available, but do you have what it takes to work from home? Does your family? Working from home means setting boundaries.

There are great advantages to working from home. You can save a fortune on wardrobe and commuting expenses alone. However, there are some unexpected hardships involved too, and the solutions all involve something every at-home worker needs.

Problem: You’re Working at Home

Yes, that’s a problem. When you work from home, people somehow don’t understand that you need self discipline as you are still working. Things that they would never bother you about at a “real job,” they will not think twice about bothering you about at your home job. And, undoubtedly, family members will be the worst offenders. Can you run their errands, bring their forgotten homework assignments, take the car to the shop? Be prepared to take on all the household chores too. You’re home, aren’t you?

Solution: Pretend You’re at Work

Just because we are all connected to that cell phone leash doesn’t mean that we have to be available to anyone and everyone 24/7. Let it go to voicemail and check it periodically just like you would if you were working outside the home. If the doorbell rings and you aren’t expecting someone, don’t answer. Simply ask yourself, would I be doing this right now if I was at work? If not, then don’t do it. That includes vacuuming.

Problem: Isolation Isn’t Healthy and Depression Hurts

Spending too much time alone is not good for us. Human beings are social animals and are meant to interact with others. Those of us working from home may not get much of that. We may then become easily over-stimulated and forget how to play nice with others. We might even prefer our pets to human interaction and yell at small children to get off our lawns.

Solution: Get Out of the House Now

If your work is portable, then take it to the park or the library, or even the local internet café. Take your breaks and/or lunch hour away from the house. Schedule a weekly pedicure or join a book club or sports team. Just find something that gets you out of the house once in a while and allows you to interact with others regularly (and I mean real-live people, not the ones that live in your phone or computer).

Problem: Fun Stuff You’d Rather Do than Work

At the office, most people are under scrutiny. The internet and phones are monitored; colleagues and co-workers are watching, and the boss is breathing down your neck. Even if there’s a TV on or the internet beckons, you are unlikely to have the time or opportunity to just chill for a while watching your favorite soap or tending your online farm. At home, there is nothing to stop you from goofing off except YOU.

Solution: A System like Credit Card Rewards

Delayed gratification with goals and rewards will allow you to resist temptation. Bargain with yourself by only “allowing” distraction after you’ve completed particular tasks. Build up fun points or “rewards.” Work first, play after. Be realistic, though, and make the goals in smaller increments. If you tell yourself that you cannot do any unrelated work tasks until the whole day’s work is done, then you are setting yourself up for failure. No one likes a tyrant boss, even if the tyrant is you.