Over the past few weeks, I have had to endure a number of distractions while working from home. We had a water leak, so there were all sorts of specialist companies arriving to check water moisture levels, install dehumidifiers and fans and remove water sodden carpets …
Top Tips For Working From Home
Luckily, this has been quite easy to fit in because of the flexibility of my job and being able to work from home when I need to. The only down side is the fact that industrial equipment creates a lot of noise and heat so it’s been a little distracting. However, this has given me the opportunity to think about why so many small business owners prefer to work from home.
There’s no waking up unnaturally early. Well, unless a client prefers an out of hours service. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve woken up at 3am to travel to a client office to start work, only to find the security guard asleep in the chair. Although it can be amusing seeing him fall off the chair with shock when you knock on the window!
There’s also no commuting so no time sat in traffic jams wasting your time. If working from home then the travel to the office is around 10 feet and you can stay in your PJs and dressing gown for most of the day if you choose.
There are far fewer interruptions. Once firmly ensconced in my office I do enjoy the ability to just get on with accounts, client reports and invoices without constant interruption from co-workers. Having the radio on in the background is quite comforting and even better when we don’t need a PRS license as you’re covered under your home TV license.
Of course, there’s less eating out. When you are in business for yourself, lunches with co-workers are few and far between. But there is always a networking event somewhere in the area where you could end up with a possible lead and a good feed.
My favourite part about a day in the office is the sheer flexibility of it all. Suddenly realising that you need to go and do something and not having to get authorisation from a manager for an hour off. For example on Friday just gone, the car developed a knocking noise, so a quick visit to the the garage in Wolverton and within 30 minutes not only was the problem diagnosed but it was also fixed.
If your business is purely office or web based and you do not need to have any contact with others you could develop some lack of confidence or lose your social skills. Networking for your business could be the answer to this conundrum.
And you can get so easily distracted! You know you have a list of priority things to do – month end accounts, VAT return, sales calls maybe? But Candy Crush, Angry Birds and Solitaire are all big draws. Remember, you must be entirely self-motivated and do have to keep your focus.
It can also be very stressful on your relationships. Imagine if you both work from home? Being with someone 24 hours a day can cause relationship problems or conversely, you could be working until 11pm every day so when are you going to spend time together?
The lack of co-worker banter can sometimes be an issue. It’s always fun to listen to office gossip about life, the universe and everything (usually relationship stuff). I do miss it at times.
It also takes a phenomenal amount of self-discipline to start work when you know you don’t have to be at the office by 8 a.m. You are the only person around all day, so there is no outside pressure to be busy and you can never escape the office and go home, because you are already there!
Set start times, lunchtimes and end times for your working day. My advice about working from home would be:
At the start of your working day, write a to-do list and check tasks off as you complete them.
Get dressed as you would for a real office and don’t stay in your PJs all day.
Once the door’s closed at the end of the day, don’t go back in until tomorrow!
Oh, and don’t forget to get your kettle tested! Ok, only joking! As writing this blog post was the last thing on today’s to do list, I’m off to spend some time with the wife and wonder when our house will finally dry out!
Until next time …