Dear Annie: I am part of a family business, and I work from an office in my home. I get dressed for work every day, the same as those who work outside the home. I am as important to our company as everyone else. If I’m not in my office, I miss phone calls from customers, vendors and employees who have to wait for me to get back to take care of their needs. I have siblings and an elderly mother who all live nearby. Because they think I “don’t work,” I am the one called upon to take Mom to doctor appointments and run errands for her. In addition, I am asked by family and friends to care for children who are home sick or cannot get to their regular child care provider. Taking time from my job puts me behind, and I often have to work evenings and weekends to catch up. These days, more and more people are working from home. Please tell others to be respectful. – Work-at-Home USA
Dear Work: Working from home often gives others the impression that you don’t actually work or that your time isn’t that important. And while it may give you more flexibility with your hours, it is still the same number of hours, which would require working evenings and weekends to make up time spent doing other things during the day.
It would help for you to set boundaries. If you can manage to do these favors without resentment, go right ahead. But if you don’t want to babysit little Johnny, say, “So sorry, but I’m working and can’t take care of him. You’ll have to make other arrangements.” If you say it enough times, they will get it.