Having a flexible job and working from home may be the dream for most working adults but it is not as easy as you may think it is and there are many difficulties that you may not be aware of.
People who work from home tend to work a lot more than those in offices. There is a very fine line between work time and home time. Distractions like TV, dirty dishes and questions from children can be difficult to manage when you are reliant on being productive and earning a pay check. Time management and discipline are needed to be able to get your work done.
Having a flexible schedule is often a misconception associated with working from home. Some assume you can work any schedule you choose. This is very far from the truth. Working from home means that work is always close by – all the time. It is really hard to ignore the phone when it rings at 7pm or keep the home office door closed at midnight when you can’t sleep. Having a separate office helps keep a sense of separation between work and home.
Working from home is not for everyone. Some people say they could never work from home because they would miss working with co-workers and adult conversation. For some this may be true. It takes a unique individual to be able to manage your time, complete your tasks and meet your deadlines. Working from home means you have to make an effort to get out of the house regularly. It is easy to get stuck in a rut. Communication with others is needed by almost all individuals. Keeping in touch with others is made easier with today’s technology. Video calls, cell phones, etc makes keeping in touch with your team easier.
Working at home means you can run errands and have your kids with you whenever you want…..people please…..this statement is very wrong? Working from home is about working. That means attending meetings, talking on the phone and doing business! You need to stay focused and available to your team during normal business hours.
Some of the best points I can offer to others is: establish a daily routine, put in daily face time with your team, keep your work out of your home life (have a dedicated office space), get some fresh air and spend your free time (time that you would otherwise use commuting use to do something meaningful).
For those who haven’t personally experienced working from home for themselves, the sound is pretty glamorous. There are perks; working in casual clothes; no more obnoxious commute; working from the comfort of your couch. But working from home is still working.
Julene Graff is a HUB Supervisor for our Program Coordination Department.