Saturday, 28 February 2015

Working from Home – some ‘Home Truths’

27 February 2015

It has been 2 weeks since my last post – I must do better. Been busy but aren’t we all? I’ve needed some inspiration to write something compelling. I got it today – it was called ‘almost Spring’.

So what does ‘almost Spring’ have to do with working from home? Well lovely, sunny weather especially on a Friday is one of the best things about working from home. It means I got to plan my day around getting out for a walk and fresh air. Oh and had a nice lunch with a colleague and friend.

I find many people who have to work in an office are envious at the idea that I work from home. I can tell you there are as many negatives as positives and it is completely up to you to make it worthwhile.  Here are some highs and the lows:

Working from Home – 5 Good Things: 
  • -          You don’t have to go on public transport during rush hour
  • -          You don’t have to dress up in ‘work’ clothes every day
  • -          You can have flexibility in the hours you work
  • -          You will be home for ‘that delivery’
  • -          You save money on lunches & coffee

 Working from Home – 5 not such Good Things:
  • -          You’re always the one travelling to the meetings & rarely vv (travel is such a time-waster)
  • -          You dress down a bit more than you should (and can sometimes work in your pjs)
  • -          You tend to work too much and at odd hours
  • -          You miss comradery, office gossip and just someone to moan to
  • -          You are 'everyman' from boss to administrator to IT support to cleaner
Okay perhaps I don’t hear any violins yet but you need to make the best of what can be a lonely time. I often crave that buzz of the office with phones ringing and trays of tea being made by someone in the department every hour. It can be hard to concentrate with all the quiet – you can easily lose focus and start to fiddle with household chores.

The benefits of working from home should outweigh the negatives but it is up to you to make it work well. Working from home isn’t suitable for everybody. You need discipline, imagination and other friends and colleagues nearby to make your own water cooler moments (regularly). 

If you are a freelancer or consultant and one of your clients asks you to work in their office part-time, even one morning a week, then jump at the chance. It could make a very big difference to having the perfect work situation. I’m starting to do that now and I can already feel the difference. It makes the time I am home working much more enjoyable because it isn’t all the time.  

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