I am very quick to promote working from home; whether you are self-employed, a freelancer or telecommute, I believe that working from home can be the lifeline that many small businesses need.
Having said that, working from home can prove difficult for many people, with a number of pitfalls coming in to play. In this blog post I’m going to look at a few of the main problems caused by working from home, and offer you some solutions to these common problems.
Problem 1: My productivity is reduced working from home.
This is usually a problem to do with focus, and for this there are a few easy to implement solutions. Primarily, have a designated workspace; somewhere you go specifically to work. Make it comfortable but work-orientated. This is your workspace, when you’re on a break, or on lunch, leave this area. That will help you maintain focus while you should be working.
Don’t try and climb a mountain in one go. One reason for decreased productivity is trying to achieve everything all at once. Break down your tasks in to manageable chunks, focus on one at a time and tick them off as you go.
Problem 2: Working from home has an impact on my whole life.
This problem is usually caused when there is no real distinction between work life and home life. For some people this element of flexibility works well, for others however it can cause unhappiness and tension within families.
The main way to solve this problem is by having designated work hours, as you would if you were commuting to an office. If you set yourself regular hours and stick to a schedule your work will rarely have an impact on your family.
Make sure that when you have finished for the day you don’t end up returning to work. It can be all to easy to just quickly check an email, or write a quick blog post – but if this is impacting negatively on your home life these are habits you need to break.
Problem 3: My household is too distracting.
This is a problem that is very easy to empathise with! The children are noisy, the dog won’t stop barking, or your partner continually interrupts, all of these things can accumulate to making it nigh on impossible to work.
Make sure you set clear boundaries for the other people in your household; shut your office door and let them know your timetable of working hours. Where possible fit your work schedule around you family, perhaps meaning you take a 20-minute break when the children come home from school and are eager to speak to you. You working from home has to work for your whole family.
If you are distracted by your telephone or personal email account, turn them off! Even if it’s just for a couple of hours you really will be amazed at how much you can get done.
I believe that working from home really can work for nearly all small business; if you have a problem that stops you working from home leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help!