I was asked by a reporter to comment on the pitfalls and advantages of working from home today. That gave me a good reason to reflect on this topic and thought you'd enjoy my reflections too.
I have been working from a home office since 2001. As a small business coach, mentor and trainer who is dedicated to changing the face of work in America by empowering entrepreneurs to achieve personal freedom and financial success in a small business, a home office fits both my work and lifestyle preferences.
The benefits to me personally are:
1. I can be more expansive. I am not “stuck” in a local market mindset. Because I work from home instead of a fixed, local location I can serve a nationwide market. I now work with people coast-to-coast and love the diversity of different business situations this allows me to interact with and serve.
2. Freedom from the hassle of a commute. I walk into my fully equipped home office and get to work. There is no wasted time driving to and from the office.
3. Flexibility. I set my own schedule. I book appointments at times that work for me. This allows me to exercise in the morning, have personal development time and time to plan my day before the work day begins.
But there are drawbacks too. They include:
1. You have to stay laser focused or else. No one is standing over you watching your productivity. All contract workers are also in remote, nationwide locations so there are no employees to be a role model for. As a result, you have to be disciplined about not getting distracted with home chores or non-work related things that may come up during the day.
And if you do become distracted (which happens), you have to get right back into your work day and not let the business hours slip away.
2. You must create a work plan and stick to it. Otherwise you’ll lose precious business hours productivity. This is especially important in the areas of marketing and sales activity.
Working from home can provide you with many other outlets to channel sales and marketing time into if you let it. In my opinion, not having a solid sales process to follow is the #1 reason home-based businesses fold.
3. You have to work at maintaining balance. It’s easy to become obsessed and keep working into the evening and late night hours. It’s essential you know your work schedule and “close the office” at reasonable hours so you have balance time with family and friends each day.
Working from home is a pleasure and I personally would not want to change it. But with joyful experiences comes responsibility too. That's the yin and yang of working from home.