There are many great reasons to work at home. You’re on your own schedule, you can wear whatever you want, and any water cooler small talk you make is entirely of your own discretion (and usually involves chatting to yourself…). I love it, myself.
Still, it’s not all lazy pajama mornings, leisurely lunches, and mid-afternoon glasses of wine. Every now and again, you’ll encounter a problem that…dare I say it…actually makes you miss the regular old routine! Here’s a few of the more common issues, and how you can overcome them.
Can you please be quiet?
It can difficult to be taken seriously, sometimes, when you’re working from home. People tend to think that you’re always available, that you can look after their children, meet them for coffees, and so on. All this can be managed with a little bit of social grace; children are another matter entirely. Finding a quiet time to work when you have energetic children rushing around you – even if it’s not your job to be watching them – can be difficult. Solution? Make the most of the children’s afternoon naps and try to carve out an area in the room that is unequivocally, undeniably your own working domain.
Why Won’t It Work?!
In a regular office, you turn up and you do your work. All the infrastructure that allows you to do it, those wires and wireless waves and all that nonsense that makes things happen is taken care of by someone else entirely. The mysterious IT folk who always ensure things are running smoothly.
In your house, however, the mysterious IT folk have disappeared and all you’re left with is…the mystery! If things online are moving slowly, it might be issues with your Wifi – see The Smart Future for guidance on what it could be. If your files are suddenly nowhere to be found, it could be an issue with your harddrive – which is a good time to mention, you might want to look at getting Cloud storage.
Avoiding those Shiny Objects
The biggest barrier to work success usually isn’t your children or your IT: it’s yourself. Never underestimate mankind’s capacity to avoid work and pursue…well, anything that isn’t work. We’re master procrastinators, always searching for something to be entertained online or in our homes. Your house will never look as tidy as it does when you work there; anything to avoid work!
It’s a good idea to download a time tracking app to your computer, and record how much you actually work. Seeing the timer at 15 minutes when you were supposed to be working for an hour or more will give you motivation to sit down and actually get to work!
No annoying colleagues, sure, but then there’s no anybody! Loneliness can creep in for home workers, so make sure you get out of the house during your breaks to interact with the wider world. Using websites such as meetup.com and the like can put you in touch with other work from home workers. Get together and meet for a coffee!
Got some tips for working at home? Let me know in the comments.
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