I recently started a discussion on LinkedIn in order to find out whether or not more people were beginning to work from home. The idea came to me after reading an article that suggested this was becoming the new trend in business. I was pleased to see many seasoned home workers getting involved and sharing their views on how and why they run their businesses from the comfort of their own homes rather than that of an office space.
Throughout the discussion it became clear that many of you firmly believe that the pros outweigh the cons. Many home workers shared the view that it is easier to be productive away from the distractions of an office and several pointed out that it is much cheaper to run a business from home, avoiding the costs of office rent, travel and lunch expenses. This means that many owners are able to offer highly competitive rates, which most office-based companies struggle to match.
Many in the discussion felt home working gives small business owners a sense of empowerment. It was rightly pointed out that work is only one part of our lives and we should all make sure it doesn’t take over. Working from home is one way to reset those boundaries, helping many small business owners to enjoy time with their family, indulge in leisure pursuits or improve their health, while maintaining a successful career.
On the flip side, home workers drew attention to the isolation that can be experienced when away from a busy office. For this reason, working from home will not suit all personality types. A few suggested that networking events were important and could cure most anti-social blues. Others suggested that those who get distracted easily or aren’t very good at motivating themselves should also steer clear of the practice and stick to an office instead.
If you think you would be suited to this lifestyle choice, here are some tips from other home workers to bear in mind:
- Stick to a ‘to do’ list: Some home workers prefer to do this the day before so in the morning they are ready to get up and get going without procrastinating.
- Set yourself targets: Having short term and long term goals will ensure you don’t flounder the day away
- Create your own boundaries: For instance, not taking work-related calls when the kids are at home. This will ensure that your working life doesn’t take over.
- Get out and about: Make a conscious effort to arrange face-to-face meetings with clients and attend networking sessions. This will prevent you feeling isolated and is also vital for building business connections and relationships.
- Take regular breaks: Being at home without any distractions can mean you get lost in a piece of work and are sat at a desk for long periods of the day. Short breaks will help your concentration and boost productivity, as well as reducing stress levels.
Working from home may become a serious consideration for aspiring entrepreneurs as the work/life balance issue is constantly brought to the forefront. Earlier this week an article was published on SmallBusiness.co.uk highlighting the struggle that many employees face when trying to find that perfect work/life balance. Over 40 percent of UK employees said that they find it hard to switch off from work when they leave and 46 percent believe it is acceptable to let their business phones and emails to run their personal lives.
How do you find that work/life balance?