Working from home, it’s not as easy as it sounds…

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Clarity Copy

So, we have all been there, you are in the office at 8am, you’ve already fought with the alarm clock, battled through the traffic and now you are sat, waiting for the day’s barrage of challenges. Your colleague rings in to say they are ‘working from home’ today and a pang of jealousy jabs you, because the thought of working from home is great, easy, relaxed, but is it? Let’s discuss. Throughout my pre-children career, I worked in numerous offices, ranging from converted barns to concrete jungles. For me, the consistent trait that I found with all offices is the feeling of restriction. Once you are there, you know that it is for at least nine hours, if it is not a happy place, then that is a long time to be miserable!

I am very fortunate now to have the privilege of working from home, because I have my own consultancy and beauty blog, but also, I have two little people to care for. Setting up my own business was the most cost and time effective way for us, as a family, to be able to look after the children, but I also maintain my career. I will be honest; at times I find it difficult to dip in and out of my two personalities, mummy and serious business owner. Forward planning in all areas of my life is essential to ensure that I can maintain professionalism and deadlines. I do not tolerate lateness, and I don’t expect anyone else to. Businesses do not want to know if my children are ill or that I was tired so I couldn’t get their press release to them on time. This is the downside to working from your home office, working for yourself and being mummy, it’s all on you!

The scenario I described in the introduction is obviously very different to mine, but the principal of working from home is still the same. It takes a great deal of determination, focus and self-control not to get involved in the more appealing aspects of home working, such as having the TV on in the background or sitting in the lounge with your sandwich. I have made these fatal errors in my early days, time just slips away and you are left feeling deflated for not achieving your goals for the day.

Talking about feelings for a moment; working from home can be a lonely place if you are not happy with your own company, especially if you have left an office environment and starting up on your own. I found it very difficult in the early days to ramp up the motivation to sit upstairs with no office banter or atmosphere. Once I took on some clients, and started making my calls and emails, it is just the best place to be.  The main piece of advice for regular home workers is to set yourself goals for the day, just as you would in the office. There has to be rules, rules about coffee breaks, lunch and definitely no TV or Facebook!

I have an amazing office space now, away from the family environment, so I can differentiate between them and not feel like I am constantly at work. It is also important to leave your home office area clutter free and organised, just as you would at a workplace. Thinking that home working is easy and relaxed will lead you to an unstable working ethic, and would be a mistake. Yes, the positives outweigh the negatives for me a million to one, but I have trained myself to adapt to a very disciplined way of working. There needs to be structure, to work towards achieving life and career goals and maintaining professionalism.

To conclude, home working does not suit everyone, even if they think it is the easiest option. Depending on what stage you are in your life and career, it can be a very productive and cost effective solution, for individuals and companies alike.

 

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