The Pitfalls of Working From Home …

We are really keen on working from home, it is so flexible, it fits around the rest of our lives and it saves so much time and money. But we thought we would take a moment to look at the pitfalls. I am sure if you know where to look and what to look for you can navigate around them;

It is so easy to be sloppy; you can dress down, you can sit down, you can slouch around. Although these things seem separate from work you would be amazed how easily they transfer. It is easier to make a spelling mistake when you’re slouching and your voice drops by about three levels in enthusiasm and professionalism. It is a good idea to have some home-working outfits (non-dry-cleanable) that step you into work mode without taking you into the completely suited and booted look of the office

It is easy to become tardy; with all the social media, VoIP and chat applications we all use it is easy for our office to know if we are logged on but a well placed ‘on a call’ and a few status updates can give the impression we are up and at them when really we crawled into the office in our PJs, clicked a few buttons and went downstairs for a leisurely breakfast with some daytime TV. Next thing you know it is mid-morning and the last thing you feel like doing is any work. Try and set an alarm for 9am somewhere in the house and make a point of moving to the office when it goes off. It also helps to schedule a work call for 9.15 with a client or a colleague so you have to turn up in relatively good time to start your day

It is easy to be distracted; when you pop downstairs for a cuppa and see that pile of dishes, stack of washing and pile of bills it is common to want to tackle them ‘while the kettle is boiling’. Not only do you need an ultra slow kettle for this to work but you may find yourself still doing domestic things an hour and a half later. Sometimes I deliberately grab a cuppa ten minutes before my next call. Not only does it pull me straight back to the office, having tea whilst you chat is really quite pleasant

It is easy to become a Social Media junkie; a lot of companies don’t allow you to use Facebook or Twitter from your workstation but from home you have carte blanche. Whilst this is liberating and it is great to connect, time seems to disappear into a black-hole once you get started on one of these sites (we are massive fans of one site in particular and are speaking from collective experience on this subject). Perhaps use the age old time management tool we used to apply to email and only look at certain points of the day. Again either set an alarm or schedule a call to pull yourself back into the office and your tasks for the day. Of course, if you are going to be on social media, then it would be a shame not to look us up and pass by to say hello. During one of your structured times obviously

It is easy to run all your errands during your lunch hour which seems to morph into three hours; you might even find yourself having coffee with a friend who is also working from home. We have all done it! Ok, I have definitely done it. Think about setting yourself a list of things to accomplish during the day and going at it until you are done. Then take a late lunch, which might be at something like four o’clock but guess what, work finished you are now free to take as long as you like. Not as much fun but a very good way of balancing maximum work efficiency with the perfect life balance

It is easy to get lonely; should this one have gone at the top? This might be one of the key dislikes of people working from home. One way around it is to make sure you factor more friends time during your non-work hours. Another is to use the video function on your VoIP package to really connect with people during the day. Talk to as many people as you can on the phone; rather than sending lengthy emails give someone a call and chat it through. Just voice to voice contact is enough to take you out of your isolation of you, your laptop and the wall; remember the only place it is ok to talk to a wall is on social media sites

For help working out how to work from home or making the transition from where you are to where you want to be please contact one of our Consultant Coaches at churchillbrook@gmail.com

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