It’s one thing to say you would like to start an online business and work from home, but have you actually stopped to think how your life will change?
I’ve been working from home almost full-time, around 90+% of the time, now for about 7 years now. Before I was full-time my wife and I had a few work from home based businesses as well, so I can tell you a few challenges I had to face.
In this post, I will describe some of he challenges I faced, but also some of the advantages.
So there I was over 7 years ago, sitting in my cubicle wondering; why was I commuting to and from to work to sit in a cubicle, in front of my computer screen to call people on the phone?
This job can be done from anywhere; I don’t need to sit here to do it. So I wrote up a request for proposal, as I described in another blog here==>Request for proposal.
So obviously my manager ended up agreeing, and 7 years later I am still working from home 90+% of the time.
How did I feel at the beginning?
That was amazing! I had an extra 45 minutes to my morning and another extra 45 minutes in the afternoon, not having to commute every day. Then there were the gas and car savings. So there were time and money savings. At the time, my boys were still too young to be at home alone, so we were paying for after school daycare, but now that I was home we were able to cut that off as well, HUGE financial savings and RIDICULOUSLY more time with my boys.
So that is my blog, working from home is all good, no challenges, NOT!
After awhile and I started getting into the routine of working from home, I began to notice being somewhat isolated. Sure I had the phone to call my colleagues once and awhile to ask a question or say hello, but it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t just turn my chair and say hey, I have a question, or hear others talking about topics that I couldn’t help myself from getting involved.
All this took some adjusting until we were provided with Windows Office Communicator. Eureka! Now I can communicate with anybody in seconds, and it still allowed me the flexibility to do my work. The Office Communicator also provided a little buffer to when you get interrupted by a phone call. Our team developed an Office Communicator (OC) and phone etiquette where we will OC them first and ask they call when they are available, that way you have time to finish what you are doing before talking with them. It gave us a way to communicate our body language if you will.
As time goes on and I became more accustomed to working from home, then the stage of not having to shave, or comb my hair stage started to kick in. Luckily my wife is around to keep me on track with that. Otherwise, I may only be shaving and showering for the weekends, Ewwww!
The weirdest challenge of all was that I had to remember to take breaks. Somehow in the office, it was easier. I’m guessing it was because there was always somebody in the team ready or wanting to take a break which reminded me as well. At home a much different story, I would go for hours sitting in my chair, and I would look at the time and see that it was already lunch time or past lunch time. So at first, I had to set reminders on my calendar to have it pop up as a reminder, and with time, pardon he pun, I was able to get into a routine. I now take a morning and afternoon break, so I can walk all the way to the kitchen to get a fresh cup of coffee of course, and at lunch, I get out for a walk.
Keep It Clean
Now we reach my last challenge, keeping my home office organized. When I commuted to the office and had my little cubicle, I had everything always well organized and clean. Now I did the same for my home office but over time, I seem to have gotten a little lazy on that part. As I look around, I do have some cleaning and organizing to do. I wouldn’t say it is a mess, but with my full-time day job and my evenings and weekends building my online business, things are starting to get a little out of hand. I’m sure I will come up with a way to overcome this last challenge as I have for the others.
Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
I’m happy that I wrote about these work from home challenges as many of my family and friends think that it is all fun and put feet up on the desk type work that I do every day.
Although it is pretty darn close to that, I get to put the radio on the channel I like when I want. I am at home when my sons leave and come back from school. There are many more advantages.
Which brings me to my conclusion that working from home is still quite a sweet deal with many advantages and a few challenges that can easily be overcome.
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