In this age of the Internet, there are many of us that either chooses or dreams of working from home. My partner and I do just that, and along with the many benefits such as flexibility, there have been some interesting challenges which may just be helpful to someone dreaming of turning the office light off for the last time . Here are a few of them that spring to mind.
Internet connection: Certainly in our case, we were based in serviced offices in Berkshire with a fantastic and reliable connection to the Web, yet at home the connection was sometimes snail like in our area. The solution for us though, was to add things to your browser’s reading list for use later or (as we found there was contention when we both worked together) we would prioritise our work and share Internet access, agreeing when each of us was going to work on the Web.
Self discipline: Now before I drone on, you might think this point is pretty obvious, but trust me, when you actually settle down to work under your own steam from home, be it a study or bedroom, you’ll find you have to be more disciplined than you ever imagined – oh! And if there’s a nice local coffee shop, there’s some kind of silent calling that will draw you at the busiest of time or it can work the other way and you still find yourself working all day and until the early hours.
Delegating: If you find it difficult to relinquish control and micro manage then working from home is not for you. Set up reporting checklists and regular summaries from your team so you can keep abreast of information and can act when needed.
So you’re rubbish at letters! Well ok, e-mail, but if someone has ever been offended by the letters you’ve written when you really, really, never wanted to offend. or if you’ve come to rely on your secretary to check your English, or others to do the work for you then ask yourself if you really are cut out to work alone. You just can’t pop into the next office or cubicle and ask someone to check something you’ve written then and there.
Social Interaction: My partner and I are blessed to find we enjoy one an-others company after spending day after day together, but if you enjoy the social interaction of the office environment, you might want to think again as working from home can be isolating and lonely. A lot of people I know who have worked from home have actually returned to an office environment specifically for this reason.
Enjoy the challenge! Let us know of any that you had to overcome.