Home working. Could it work for you?

Lots of us dream of working from home. The freedom, the flexibility, that elusive work/life balance… it sounds fantastic, but is working from home all it’s cracked up to be?

Home working. Could it work for you?

Some people find it very easy to work from home. It’s simply ‘another day at the office’ but without the inherent distractions, noise and interruptions that working 9-5 in a busy workplace can bring.  

But working from home can be difficult too. Apart from the obvious attractions of your own fridge and biscuit tin, there’s the lack of interaction with work colleagues and friends, and that omnipresent list of family or household chores. Working from home isn’t for everyone, but answering these questions might help you decide if it’s for you.

Are you organised?

Working from home is all about time management. You might be able to drop the children to school, or pop to the shops, but you’ll still have to complete as much (or more) work than you would in the office. So use your time wisely. Don’t be tempted to do household chores during the working day unless you’re prepared (and you have sufficient time on the deadline) to work evenings and weekends to catch up.

Do you like to talk?

No office politics or silly office gossip might sound like heaven. But when you’re working at home, on your own, every day, it can get lonely. You miss talking to people, and bouncing ideas around. However motivated you are, working in a vacuum doesn’t always produce the best results. So (even if you like your own company), set up instant messaging, send emails and talk on the phone. Your work will be better for it.

Are you a good communicator?

In an office, everyone is up to date with what everyone else is up to. But when you work from home, nobody will know if you’re struggling to hit a deadline or there’s a problem with the brief, unless you say so.  Also, you need to be crystal clear in communications, because written words are often taken more literally than spoken ones. Be careful what you type!

Can you set yourself goals?

It’s always good to have a clear goal to work to. But when you work from home, goals can really help you achieve more with your time. So set daily, or even hourly targets, to keep yourself motivated and productive throughout the day. It can also help convince your boss, client or contractor that working from home is a good idea!