Working from home

I always wanted to work from home, and now that I have 3 small children, there couldn’t be a better time! But working from home isn’t necessarily a perfect job. Like my previous corporate office job, there are challenges – albeit different challenges, but challenges none-the-less.

There are definitely benefits to working from the comfort of your own home. Perhaps for some however it is in fact a little too comfy – tracksuit pants, TV temptation, family distractions. I have worked hard to conquer the challenges – many still exist, but some I feel I have overcome. There are a couple of rules and tips that I thought I would share that may or may not be of assistance if you are thinking of, or currently struggling with working from home.

Tip 1:

Make it clear to your family and friends that you are working from home. Many people still won’t understand this, they will assume that you still have plenty of time on your hands, and will happily swing by for a coffee, chat and catch up. This can be infuriating when you are maximising those precious moments when the baby is actually sleeping.

Tip 2:

In addition to telling the whole world that you are working, you could try letting the answering machine take your calls during the day and return all personal calls after business hours. When you return your calls, explain how difficult it is to talk during the day while you are working.

Protect your time. If you are anything like me, those quiet moments where you can be extremely productive are few and far between. If you need to, don’t answer the door! People will eventually understand.

Tip 3:

Have a structured routine, like you would if you were working in the office. It is so easy to be tempted by all the things that need to be done around the house. I could easily get busy doing chores, and although I have been busy all day, nothing has been achieved from a business perspective. So, establish a routine – and make it one that everyone understands – even the children.

Don’t leave all your household chores until the family have left for the day. Try to get as much done as possible (within reason) outside of your ‘working hours’ (that is your business hours….it is all work!).

I find it very difficult to get my business work done, when my home is a disaster. I just can not concentrate until there is some semblance of order. So, I try to get most of it done the night before, and in the hour following school drop off. That clears me then to concentrate on the business for a few hours during the day.

You should also establish a workspace for yourself.  Try to avoid having your work documents/products etc all over the house. If you have a space that you can return do daily, your home career may prove a little easier.

These are only a couple of ideas that I find useful, every one has a different work mode. Everyone is juggling different circumstances. I am interested in other ideas or suggestions that could make my life, and the life of those around me, even remotely easier.

3 Responses to “Working from home”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
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  2. Hi there,
    I saw your blog link on the Vogue Forum and thought I would say hello 🙂

    I only work from home occasionally, and don’t have any little ones to contend with so my tip might not be of much use, but I find that making an effort to get dressed (eg shower, put on a little bit of make-up, wear normal clothes rather than staying in PJs) helps me to get in the work zone.

    Oh and not ‘working’ with the TV on!

    I am in awe that you can get any work done at all with three small kids at home!

  3. Completely agree. If I don’t shower and get dressed, I am completely useless and inefficient. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.

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