There are many advantages to running a business from home, rather than a dedicated office space. These include:
– Flexibility within the working day.
– No need to face the perils of the daily commute.
– A reduction in business overheads.
– A better work-life balance.
However, despite the advantages, there are still problems associated with working from home. We will list three of them here, alongside some helpful tips to help you alleviate these possible issues.
Problem #1: No designated meeting space for clients
You still need to look professional when operating from home, so holding important meetings in your living room/bedroom/kitchen/shed may not give you the credibility you require. It’s especially difficult when you have a family using the home during the day as well.
Solution: Hire a designated meeting space, instead of dealing with the distractions/unprofessionalism of home. Check out the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware, as an example, where you can wine and dine clients, as well as making use of the dedicated business centre for all your meeting or events needs. Using a hotel such as this one, your clients also have somewhere to stay if they have travelled to meet you.
Problem #2: Difficulty separating work and family life
As mentioned in our previous point, working from home is difficult when you have a family at home. Check out this poor guy, for example. Not only can they distract you, but you can also use them as a distraction to break up your day. Needless to say, productivity will suffer as a result, especially if you have pressing deadlines to meet.
Solution: Set yourself working hours and stick to them. Ensure everybody in your family knows when you are not to be disturbed, and politely ask them to adhere to the boundaries you are setting. Do the same for yourself – if you’re tempted to break away from your set working hours, you will blur the boundaries you have set for your family, and confuse matters. You should also set working hours when you are least likely to be interrupted, such as when your kids are at school.
Problem #3: Switching out of work mode
Unlike a regular office, you can’t leave your paperwork on your desk at work when you head home for the day. Working from home, there is that temptation to head back into your office space, and pick up where you left off earlier. Not only will you burn yourself out, but you will also upset your family who do want to spend some time with you.
Solution: As before, it’s down to willpower. When you have ‘finished’ work for the day, put your paperwork away, switch off your computer, and tidy away any reminders that are associated with work. In doing so, you will have better success in switching off, giving you the ability to focus on the other things important in your life, such as your family and any hobbies you have. You might also want to purchase a designated phone and computer for work and have something else to use that is more closely associated with your leisure and social life.
If these issues are familiar to you, or if you have encountered any other problems, let us know, and give us the benefit of your experience in dealing with them.