Have you noticed? There is a lot of publicity these days about working from home. Increasing numbers of people are dreaming of leaving the rat race; TV programmes are made showing families leaving the city and moving to a rural retreat. More and more employers are offering their staff the opportunity to work at least part of their working week from home.
Even security of employment is no longer assured. Then add to this the explosion of Internet businesses that can be worked from home. No wonder for some people the temptation to jump straight in and “do their own thing” from home is irresistible.
But what are the problems or drawbacks that have to be considered before making this decision? And what are the rewards and benefits to gain from work at home?
The plus points, of course, are well documented: no daily commute, no having to dress for the office, no difficult bosses, and more time with the family.
From my own point of view, because of a health problem, I could no longer go out to work so the decision was made for me. But I had to think long and hard about how to make it work and to find ways to overcome the problems I encounter. So, what are these problems?
- There is no longer the security of a bi-weekly paycheck: if you don’t work, you don’t earn any money;
- The necessity of having a separate office space – if you can you manage with the kids dropping ice-cream on your paperwork, for instance?
- The distractions of household chores during your work time: I’ll just get that pot of soup made now while I wait for that document to print out!
- The distractions of not working: phone calls to friends, reading the newspaper, just going to get another biscuit, or even going back to bed!
- Knowing when to stop working: or you will burn out quickly.
- Isolation: no colleagues to bounce ideas off, or gossip with;
- And having to provide your own pension and insurance, and sorting out your taxes, keeping accounts.
In addition to getting to grips with all this, then think about what type of person you are. Do you have strong determination to succeed? It’s all very well knowing the theory, but it’s putting it into practice that counts. You need patience and perseverance, self-discipline and a positive attitude. You also need to be able to knock procrastination on the head and understand time management. You must be willing to learn and adapt quickly.
Okay, superwoman, or Superman, it seems an awful lot to take on board, and how each of you copes with these problems will be different. But the more you can get to grips with it, then there’s more of a chance you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of working from home.
- You will enjoy the flexibility of being able to work to suit your circumstances and to fit in with your family;
- You will benefit from an enhanced quality of life; there is far less stress WHEN you are in control, than when you are at the mercy of the traffic or the boss;
- A consequent improvement in health;
- And then, when your business begins to grow with good profits, it is a great feeling and pride?
So, why work from home? Because now you can if you want to.