Don’t Let Work At Home Benefits Backfire
There are a lot of reasons you decided to work from home. At the time you made the decision, all those reasons sounded like wonderful solutions to the problems of working outside; commuting, childcare, and restrictive schedules, to name a few.
You now have you home office arranged and you’re enjoying the good life and all the benefits of working from home.
Some of the benefits have actually morphed into unexpected trouble. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways work at home assets can turn into liabilities, and how to correct it.
I Can Spend More Time With My Family
Skipping the commute and time at work for a day at home with the kids, spouse, and pets is a common reason for working from home. Everyone is happy you’re right there in your office, close at hand, all day long, accessible at the drop of a hat.
The problem is, of course, you don’t get any work done. You are just a few steps away from everyone’s wants and needs, so why wouldn’t they call on you? The solution is to set up boundaries and schedules. You have to treat your workday as if you were gone from the house. Schedule in plenty of play time, as well, and you will enjoy that extra time with the family that you wanted.
I Can Get Housework Done While I Work
If you worked outside the home for any amount of time, you’ll remember how much you disliked having to spend your evenings and weekends doing household chores. Now that you’re working at home, you can easily get those chores done during the day.
The problem created by this benefit of working at home is you lose focus rather quickly. On the way down the hall you pick up the laundry. Then as you head to the laundry room, you see dishes in the sink. Each little chore will end up growing into larger chores if you allow it. Instead, choose an hour during your day to catch up on a few things that would have otherwise waiting until you arrived home at night after work. Your evenings are free, like you wanted, and the housework gets done.
I Can Work When I Want And How I Want
The image of pajama-clad work at home folks is not that far-fetched. Many people like the idea of getting the kids off to school and spouse off to work, then getting cozy with another cup of coffee and snuggling on the couch with their laptop, answering emails and starting their work day.
Unfortunately, this lovely scenario can backfire. When we are in this cozy mode, we can lose track of time. The day disappears and we are still in our pajamas and deadlines are looming. Now we are stuck working into the night trying to get things done. This is not the ‘when and how’ we planned. In order to make this benefit work is to, again, set a schedule. Treat your work day like, well, a work day by punching a time-clock you create for yourself. Get ready, get dressed, and get to work.
I Can Have My Own Peaceful Little Office
Having your own space after perhaps sharing desks or cubbies with other workers sounds like a nice thought. No more office politics. No more gossiping. No more stress. Right? Just the peace and quiet of your own keyboard clicking away.
Peace and quiet. And more peace and quiet. Now you’re feeling lonely and isolated. You begin to miss the camaraderie of having co-workers. The solution is to create a similar circle of co-workers in your work at home situation. Reach out to people in the same type of work, either through professional groups or social media. Find forums that are engaging and purposeful. And don’t forget to wander out of the house routinely to meet up with friends for some face-to-face fellowship.
There appears to be a common thread among people who work from a home office. Most work-at-home folks say they chose this career path for family, convenience, and for a more relaxing work environment. All these benefits of working from home are possible to achieve, but they each have pitfalls, which are avoidable once you recognize the risks.