I remember the first time I thought about moving from working from home to getting an office space. It was about six years ago, I was sat working in my underwear and I heard a knock at the front door. I assumed it was a parcel for me, so I went down, poked my head through the door and found to my surprise it was my new client.
I’d completely forgot that i’d booked an appointment, so the guy had to wait outside while I made my excuses and went to get changed.
Anyway.. enough about me, our guest poster this week on the topic of working from home is the owner of multiple businesses, Andrea Daly.
“I’d been working as college lecturer for 11 years and as soon as I went on maternity leave to have my third baby, I knew that I wouldn’t go back.
My partner and I have a limited company and I spend my time sending out samples, liaising with suppliers, doing administration and bookkeeping. I also write two regular blogs, one of which is for my local daily newspaper.
I’m sure everyone has their own reasons for working from home, and mine was so I could be at home for the family. I have three boys aged 13, 8 and 2, plus I have a step-daughter who visits every other weekend.
Obviously working from home has many good points but it also has its challenges.
There’s no doubt about it that you have to be more disciplined at home, after all you have no ‘boss’ checking up on you, ensuring you are doing what you are supposed to do. It can also be very easy to get distracted. If I’m not careful, at 10am the TV goes on for my fix of ‘Homes under the Hammer’!
Working from home undoubtedly brings with it greater flexibility. I can free up time to spend with the toddler and then work once he’s at playgroup. I often find myself at the keyboard in the morning before the kids get up.
One of the downsides can be that others don’t see you as ‘working’. I have a couple of aunts who like to ‘pop’ in for coffee. As much as I love to see them, it can be difficult when I’m in the middle of something.
My partner also works from home. He has his own office that he locks himself in during the day, and we meet up for coffee and lunch breaks. This makes it feel much more like a working environment as one problem can be a feeling of isolation.
I feel it’s important to network as much as possible either face to face or through social networking sites like twitter or Facebook. I’ve found other work from home mums this way and have a good support network should I encounter any problems.
For me the key to working from home is organisation. I gave up going out to work to be with the family but I also have to fit in the school run, the household chores, shopping and cooking. All this is part of my working day. I can’t imagine doing all that and having a full time job!
There’s no doubt in my mind that working from home can be hugely beneficial both to the family and the individual. My boys wouldn’t have me working any other way. They get to see me whenever they want, I can take them to appointments without taking time off and if they get sick, well I’m already at home to take care of them. Plus I have the benefits of doing a job I enjoy, working alongside my partner and making my own money.
I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.”