When we’re holding down an employed position, working from home is something we all dream of doing. We dream of leaving work and setting up our own VA business, turning our hobbies into a home run business and possibly even expanding our second “job on the side” into a profitable dining table business.

Maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and set up your own business, only to find working from home isn’t what you expected it to be. Whatever your current situation, it pays to look at both sides of the coin, before you decide to throw in the towel or take the plunge in the first place.

flexibility working from homeFlexibility – what we all crave

When it comes to working from home, flexibility is the number one driving force for most women. We all crave running our own business… on our own terms. We want to set hours and days of work that truly suit our circumstances. Home working also means you get to select your own dress style and office space; both of which can really boost your creativity and productivity.

The downside of flexibility

Being able to make our own choices can be great however, if you’re not strict with yourself, you could end up just decreasing your productivity and turning into a bit of a slob. The idea of working in your PJ’s can easily turn into a regular habit, whilst the working day can get shorter and shorter, as you get sidetracked by household chores and playing taxi to the family.

Work is work and family time is family time…?

working from home means family timeMost women will also cite the need to be home for their children as their top desire. They want to be there when their children come home from school, or want to there to witness their child take their first steps etc. Maybe working three days a week is your goal – as you get to sync your work pattern in with that of your husband or partner.

This can also cause problems however, if you don’t set clear boundaries. You need to ensure all of your family know when your working hours are and when you are free for family… otherwise you may end up feeling guilty when you’re working and resentful when you’re with your family, as your mind is elsewhere.

Gains and losses

Finally, you need to be clear on what you are gaining by working from home… and how you can counteract what you’re losing. For example, when you address the financial implications of working from home, you may save childcare and commuting fees – but you may want to keep some childcare arrangements in place, to ensure you get time to yourself.

The biggest thing home workers miss out on is human interaction. We get so used to having colleagues to chat to and discuss ideas and problems with; it can be difficult making the adjustment when you set out on your home business adventure. Online groups and social media can be a great starting point… but it can also turn into our biggest time sucker! So ensure you commit to regular interaction with others. Set up meetings with your girl friends and go to local networking events, to ensure you keep your social and networking skills from going rusty!

What are your views on working from home? If you currently work from home, what are your biggest reasons and regrets – and how do you turn them to your advantage? If you’re not yet in a position to work for yourself from home – what are your driving desires to do so? Why not share your responses and experiences in the comments box below.

Image courtesy of Brian Holm (lady on sofa) & Photostock (family image)/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2 thoughts on “The Highs and Lows of Working From Home

  1. Hi Amanda,
    great article…for me actually, working from home is a “plus”, unlike most people it is the other way around..i explain: it got me out and about!! Ironic, I know. You see, I have been rather “house” bound for the past 11 years, and have not been able to work in a proper office, I had to stay home, then I worked on/off with my husband and then from home for him as well, so setting up as a VA is a breath of fresh air…I go out and meet people I wouldn’t have met otherwise; I email people and possibly establish a “networking relationship” I wouldn’t have otherwise, so I am actually building up bridges and it is taking me out of my comfort zone..so, it does have a positive impact on my morale and confidence…Am wondering if other people are in a similar position??? All the best, Rachel.

    1. Hi Rachel,

      You are not alone when you talk about how the VA industry and networking can take you out out your comfort zone, but I was delighted to see that you find it has given you a positive impact on your morale and confidence. I have to say I have found running a VA business a great way to really get out there and meet people, both on and offline. It really is very social, and great for building relationships. The thing we teach as part of our VA training is to “really listen” when meeting new people.

      Best Wishes
      Amanda

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