I work from home full time and I’m very happy with the arrangement, but there are some pitfalls. Time flies so quickly, even when you have the luxury of an empty house and no commute. So where does all the time go?!
- Housework distractions. For example, before you sit down to work for the day, you might put a load of dirty laundry into the washing machine. Later that morning, you’re engrossed in your work when “peep, peep”, the washing machine is telling you to hang the laundry out. Aaargh, you’ve lost your train of thought! Or you sit down at your desk and notice how dusty it is: up you get to find a duster, but be careful that you don’t go on to dust the whole room (and then put your duster in the washing machine and then fetch other things to “make up the load” and put the machine on…) A day of working at home is just that: you are not going to get housework done, so just accept it. And make sure that others in your household accept it too!
- Extra housework piles up. So far from being able to progress your housework, you are actually going to add to it. There is no office cleaner to vacuum around your desk regularly, and your lunch crockery, your biscuit plate and all those mugs of your favourite brew will need to be washed up. It might do you good to go out for lunch to avoid some of this! In either scenario, housework can become a too-easy rabbit-hole that your day can fall into, never to be seen again.
- Updating your equipment. Sometimes your computer does this automatically, for example on Skype: I recommend that you sign in in at least 15 minutes before any Skype meeting, so that you give it time to install its updates. Sometimes I forget, and you can be sure that that’s the time when there is an update awaiting! Your home equipment might not be as fast as your office equipment, so make allowances or invest time to upgrade and update it all.
- Delivery at the door. I’m always at home, so that means that I can always order something for home delivery. Or perhaps not! It is slightly quicker to take a delivery now that I live in a house, than earlier when I would buzz the postman into the building and then have to wait for him to find my flat. But it’s not only the time that you take, it’s also the disturbance to your “flow”, which could come at any time.
- Friends calling. You’re at home all day on your own, and it is quite often lonely. So a visit, a phone call or an arrangement to meet a friend can sometimes be a very good and welcome thing in your day. The problem is when your partner calls you 5 times in the day, or a friend invites you to coffee at 10am and you don’t get back to your desk until midday, and that seems to happen once a week! The obvious answer is that you need to strike a balance between welcome company to inspire and motivate you in your working day, and a social or personal life that steals from your working life.
I have listed the things that distract me most, but there are some enormous positives to working from home, not least that you can sit in your PJs all day long and no-one need know, and you can make your favourite coffee/tea/drink whenever you have a break from your work.
What are your biggest distractions when working from home, and the things you like about it? We’d love to hear them. If you enjoyed reading this blogpost then you might also enjoy Bernie’s post about why she doesn’t like writing at home.
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— Piirus Com (@piirus_com) 16 May 2016
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain