Working from home or operating a home-based business is a popular concept today. But be mindful that working from home can be stressful and requires self-discipline and adjustments. Allow me to clear up some of the myths surrounding working from home and offer you facts with solutions.
Myth #1: You don’t need childcare. You can be with your children all of the time.
Fact: If you are serious about getting your work done, then you need childcare. Whether working for a company or on freelance projects, you need to work without being distracted every ten minutes. And if you are starting a home-based business, you are going to need to network to deliver results to clients. For this, full-time childcare is generally necessary.
Solution: Hire childcare and think of it as an investment, not an expense. By paying someone to watch the kids, you are taking the time to invest in yourself because you are growing professionally. Not to mention, this lessens distractions at home.
Myth #2: You can work while sitting on a couch in front of the TV.
Fact: Not having an assigned space for working, or not being in a working environment, makes it difficult to accomplish tasks. Home is typically associated with a place where you eat, sleep and relax. And the television is definitely a distraction.
Solution: Create a work space or a home office. If you have an extra room, set it up as an office. If not, create a working corner in any one of your rooms. Restructure the space to make it look professional. Commit to working at your designated space.
Myth #3: With a flexible schedule, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. There are no 9-to-5 restrictions.
Fact: A schedule that’s excessively flexible can possibly affect your health and your relationship with your family. You might find yourself working all of the time.
Solution: While you don’t have restrictions set upon you by a boss, you must set a schedule for yourself to accomplish results, and care for yourself and your family. Be self-disciplined and stick to a schedule. Avoid easy distractions such as TV use and phone calls. Get out your planner or calendar and create a schedule for your work. For example, Tuesday morning: set a business budget; Wednesday afternoon: follow up with current clients and prospects.
Myth #4: Working from home will make balancing work and home life easier.
Fact: Work is work no matter where it gets done. When you work from home, you still have deadlines, clients to meet and events and meetings to attend. There are still times when laundry and dishes pile up, and you are forced to miss school-related functions involving your children.
Solution: Get your family members on board by explaining to them that working from home is still work. Explain that you have goals and a schedule, and request they respect that. Don’t hesitate to delegate daily chores to family members, or to hire help via a cleaning or errands service.
Myth #5: Working from home is an ideal arrangement.
Fact: Working from home can get lonely and make it cumbersome to focus with distractions such as the television, bed and couch.
Solution: Look for a community organization that offers a free or cost-effective work space. Check out your local library or a bookstore. If your work involves doing research utilizing resources, including newspapers, magazines, books and journals, spend five to six hours a week working at the library or a bookstore. Reach out to people in your neighborhood. Meet with business owners to chat, discuss challenges and share your best practices, and see how you can assist each other.
Work is work anyway you put it. The location does not change the results that need to be delivered to your boss or your clients. However, these solutions should make working from home more pleasurable and less stressful for you.