I have been in business working from home for more than a decade. Of course working from home doesn’t mean working at home all the time. I do a lot of work at home, but I visit clients all over the place to help them with their businesses and their tax issues, and I go to networking meetings and training sessions.
Not being responsible to anyone else means I have to be responsible to myself. Working from home is not about using the technology. People have been doing it for a long time. It is about discipline.
Discipline is a word my Dad used to bark at us children when we had apprently misbehaved. In a sense it has a bad press, being associated with regimentation. Yet all we are really talking about is being sensible and organised.
It would be all to easy to lie in bed when we have work to do. We need to get up, have a set time of when we work, and broadly stick to it. If we don’t have work, i.e. business to service, or employees and subcontractors to organise to do it, then we should be at our desks, or on the sofa, or somewhere, marketing. Alternatively we should go to that early breakfast meeting.
It can be lonely working from home. Before the internet, we could have our “water-cooler” chats on the telephone, but now we can chat and interact on-line. We can use Twitter for conversations as well as for our marketing.
We have to have that discipline not to allow our social media interaction to get in the way of work. Yes, I like to see whatever everyone is up to by scrolling around Facebook, but there is a time and a place, and that certainly isn’t when we should be working for our clients and customers, or trying to find new ones.
- Have particular times to work, whether normal office hours, or four in the morning start, but stick to it.
- Limit the social media marketing time to an hour or so.
- Set yourself break times and make sure you take them.
- Try to do the on-line social stuff to the breaks.
- Don’t work long hours, because if you feel you have to you must be doing something wrong.
What tips do you have?