Working from home is becoming an increasingly more popular choice over the last decade, one in seven people now work from home regularly and it has been shown that productivity increases by 16% when someone works from home.
Small business owners running their business from home not only benefit from the productivity, wellbeing and flexibility perks it brings: it can also save you a lot of money and time. Commuting is no longer an issue and you do not have to pay out for business premises, the staff to run them or the cost of setting up telecommunications and networks. Using a virtual office service, such as ours, is a fantastic way to have the benefits of these services without the costs.
Working from home does come with its own problems, though, so being aware of them and planning ahead will make working from home work better for you!
Some of the most common problems
This can be a really tough one for people. Even if you are the owner or manager of a business there will always be some type of supervision or deadline for work. Other people will know if you get behind. We are used to working in this way, starting all the way back in primary school, so finding yourself in a position where what and when you do things are entirely down to you can be daunting. It can make it easy to let work slide, to procrastinate and allow yourself to be distracted! Getting past this hurdle is simply accomplished by planning well, setting yourself strict deadlines and using your time the way you would in any other working environment.
There is a huge plus side to this situation too. You get to work when you work best. Some people are night owls, others are freshest first thing – we all know when we are most productive so use this to your advantage.
When you work from home you are, technically, always at work. You don’t get to stand up at 6pm and leave your paperwork in a pile for the next day. This can mean that you do not mentally switch off from what you need to get done and this leads to a distorted work/life balance.
It is essential that you set yourself boundaries. Make one space in your home the ‘work space’ and do not allow yourself to go there when it is your personal time. Use a virtual office to screen your calls so that you aren’t tempted back into work mode during your down time. People all too easily burn out when they don’t allow themselves time to wind down, you will be much more productive if you are happy.
Work colleagues – love them or hate them it is nice to be around people. To talk through a work problem or simply having a chat about your weekend can be a huge boost at times. Some colleagues will naturally become friends so the idea of working by yourself, all the time, can feel isolating. Humans are social creatures, we need to interact with others to some extent.
Working from home does not mean that you will be lonely though. Schedule regular time to spend with your friends, use your break times to chat with people over social media, get to know other small business owners in your area. You may find that you start to enjoy your time with others more because you have planned the time with them. If you do network with other business owners, then you will be getting to know more people who happen to share a common interest.
The bottom line is really this: plan your working time carefully, be strict about when you should be working and when you should be resting and do not allow your home business to take control of your home.
Work is important but so are you. Use the tools and services available to make sure that you are living a balanced life.