5 Warnings and 5 Benefits of Working from Home By Chris Gallagher
Having done the “home office thing” for a while now, I thought I would share the Top 5 X 5 for a home office:
Top Five Warnings About Working From Home
5. Working from home can add distractions – Anything from TV to yard work can add a distraction to your office time. The home to-do list is present from the waking moment to the time to lay your head on the pillow. You notice something in your home while going downstairs for a cup of coffee and then find yourself with an improvement to finish. Be warned! S
Side Note to #5 – Be sure your family understand that even though you work from home, you still need quiet time to finish your projects and work. This is were great time management comes along. (More to come on Time Management next week.)
#5 SOLUTION: Schedule your time well and keep a list handy to write down those home improvement thigns for a later time.
4. Less Formal – While being less formal can be a good thing, many times it results in slacking off because you are not under the normal office standards placed in a formal, cubicle setting. The phrase “dress for success” may have some value here; for many, working in pajamas make you work less.
#4 SOLUTION: Set your schedule a month in advance to keep on track with your goals as well as daily goals. Achieveing them is a good evaluation of how well you are working.
3. Food is Readily Available – When you work from home, the refrigerator can continuously call your name. Snacks and drinks are always available because it is your house. Your went to the store and bought your favorite things, so now you can see them all day long.
#3 SOLUTION: Take time for a walk a couple times a day to put this problem aside.
2. Less Face-to Face Communication – You can work and never leave the house and that might be a problem. Working from home can enable you to less face-to-face communication than every before. You can accomplish your job by phone, email and fax, causing a break in face-to-face communication.
#2 SOLUTION: The best solution for this is to schedule face-to-face meetings a couple times a week; even grab a cup of coffee with a colleague.
1. Misconceptions – Working from home brings many misconceptions. Some who have regular 8-5 jobs see someone who works form home as not working as hard as they do. Many people will not see you grinding away in the wee hours of the morning or late at night while the family sleeps. They do not see the amount of work you are doing, because when they are invited over, your office is usually cleaned during the “People are coming cleaning.”
#1 SOLUTION: Work your tail off and let the results speak for themselves! Your work will speak for itself.
Top Five Great Things About Working From Home
5. Family Time – While this might be a distraction, I have found a balance of family and work time to be a positive thing. I am able to see my family more than a job which puts me in an office from 8 am until 6 pm; leaving me only a couple hours to see my kids. There is nothing greater that seeing your kids grow up. Also, lunch with them at school is a great thing!
4. No Traffic – Not counting the morning traffic on the stairs between getting up and taking the kiddos to school, the traffic is none. I do not make a morning commute on the interstate to the office, instead I make the morning commute to the coffee pot.
3. No Suits here – I love not having to wear “office clothes” every day. There is nothing like working in shorts and a t-shirt or even pajama pants in front of a warm fire each day. This does not work for everyone, but I enjoy it. It took a while to get used to but I feel I am as productive as ever.
2. Your Own Schedule – With a home office you are free to work on your own schedule. I have found certain hours of the day work better for me to work than others. I have found that spending time working when the rest of the family is sleeping is a prime time to clear my mind and do some writing. (More to come on this next week)
1. Technology makes it possible – My home office is not one space in my home but many. I have a laptop and wireless internet so I can work from any room in my home as well as the screened in porch, the front porch and even the garage. I have learned that email is a wonderful thing, as well as text messages. Cell phones make it possible to people to get a hold of me anytime anywhere. My fax machine is hidden upstairs and only used a limited number of time. One home office improvement purchase from last year is a wireless printer. Now I can print wherever I am.
About the author: Chris Gallagher is a minister, speaker and blogger. His website, the "Preacher's Pen" seeks to assist others in living the best lives possible. Chris has spoken to various groups throughout his career; from churches to HR departments to school. Chris is available for speaking engagements by contacting him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chris resides in coastal South Carolina with his wife and three children.