Running your business from home – pros & cons, and how to do it well!

Feb 6, 2018 | Business

A lot of people think that being self employed and working from home means that you have a fun, free, busy life full of days out and watching Netflix. At first I thought the same. I thought I’d get a ton of work done in a small amount of time and then spend the rest of my day just doing what I want. Perks of working from home!… But its really not that easy.

 

Lets start with the cons.

    • You have to be super self motivated. Working for yourself, especially if you work from home, is really hard. You dont have someone breathing down your neck making you work and the temptation of watching just another episode of Supernatural is all too tempting. You have to have the motivation to say no to things like TV, friends and days out, if you’ve got lots of work to do. When you’re self employed, your work has to be a main priority. After all, thats how you get the money to be able to afford days out and Netflix! I’m not saying never chill out and never see friends, but you’ll have to put in the work and be motivated in order to succeed in working well from home.

 

    • On the other end of the scale, it’s far too easy to work TOO MUCH. When you work elsewhere, you work your hours, clock off and go home but because your desk is right there at home, its so easy to just do a bit more work and a bit more and a bit more… You end up overworking, which is bad for productivity long term, and for your health and mindset. Again, you need motivation, but this time for sticking to a schedule!

 

    • Other people don’t always get it. They’ll ask you to do things because you’re not “at work”. Can you just pop round? Can you look after the kids for an hour or so? They’ll also make comments like ‘it must be fun to sit at home all day’ or assume that you don’t actually work at all!

 

    • It can be incredibly stressful. You’re relying on yourself for income so there’s always a bit of panic at the back of your mind about whether you’ll make enough money each month.

 

    • Working from home is distracting! There’ll always be a load of laundry to do, meals to prep or cleaning to do, but the work has to come first. The work ensures you pay the bills so you have housework to do! It’s difficult to shut yourself off from what you usually do at home and get in to the work mindset but it gets easier with practice and it gets easier if you can have a dedicated space in your home just for work.

 

    • It’s a bit lonely. You don’t have co-workers to chat and collaborate with. When I’m working from home, I can go for days barely seeing anyone, especially as my fiancé works quite long hours too. Even someone like me who enjoys their own company can get a bit lonely!

 

 

Now the pros!

    • Freedom! If you want to go away, go on a day out, be flexible for your kids or meet with friends, then you can do that. Being self employed, you obviously have to work but you dont have to work 9 to 5. You could work 10 til 3 or 5 til 9. Whatever suits your commitments and lifestyle.

 

    • This one doesnt even need an accompanying paragraph. No commute!!

 

    • Honestly, one of the best things about working from home for me is that if I want to go to the cinema or do my grocery shopping or anything that’s usually crazy busy on the weekends, I can go midweek during the day when most people are at work or school and its so much quieter. I really don’t mind working on weekends so I usually have my ‘weekends’ mid-week. Again, no rules!

 

    • You can work in your PJs! Although be warned, I’ve now got more favourite PJs than I do favourite clothes…When I go out anywhere normal, I’m stuck on what to wear!

 

    • When I worked at an office, I’d sit in my office chair from 9am until 6pm, having my lunch at my desk and getting up for the occasional loo break, then I’d sit in my car driving to work an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. And even though I’d barely done any physical activity, I’d still come home exhausted and sit around in the evening, repeating the cycle 5 days a week. My weight ballooned (I’m still trying to shift it now!) and I became so unfit and unhealthy. Now I work from home, I make sure I get up and do 5 minutes of housework here and there to break up the sitting time. I’ll also stop and do one or two workouts each day, or dance like a crazy person around my apartment! I’m still nowhere near those recommended 10,000 daily steps but my fitness is definitely improving!

 

    • If you have a family then working from home could save you masses in childcare expenses and means you can spend precious time with your little ones. It’s not going to be easy, you’ll have to be even more organised, but it’ll be oh so worth it.

 

    • You don’t actually have to work from home. A lot of entrepreneurs do work at home because of convenience and saving the cost of hiring somewhere to work, but you can actually work at co-working spaces really cheaply if you feel like you need some company one day or you can pop to a coffee shop and work from there. There’s a pub down the road from me that I often work at that’s totally empty during the day. It’s a nice change of scenery and I usually get a lot done! Plus I get the added bonus of nachos… don’t judge me!

 

So how can work from home well?

  • Try to set a schedule to stick to
  • Let your customers know your office hours and make sure you stick to them too! No emailing people halfway through the night!
  • Arrange time when you’re away from home to meet friends or work at a coffee shop. Just get out of the house!
  • Set up a space in your home that is your work space. Keep it separate from your home as much as possible so you don’t cross boundaries
  • Make time for eating healthily and exercising
  • Go out for a walk each day to get some fresh air, and some fresh ideas
  • When you do go on holiday or on a day out, try to completely switch off from work. Leave your phone at home if you have to!
  • Explain to anyone that doesn’t understand that just because you work from home, doesn’t mean this isn’t a real job. It’s your business, your baby, and it pays your bills just like any job, maybe even more so.
  • Prioritise your work over housework and set aside time to do laundry or wash dishes the night before so it’s not distracting in the morning.
  • Schedule me-time in your routine. If it’s scheduled, you have to do it! No more working all hours.
  • Take time to figure out what sort of schedule works for you. Do you work best in the mornings or the evenings, weekends or weekdays…?

AmberHi, I’m Amber! I am a website designer specialising in creating beautiful and results-focused websites using WordPress. I live and breathe business and creativity and can’t wait to share some of that with you. Read more here

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