Some people might think that working from home is way easier than working in an office setting. However, it is not and it shouldn’t be.
The main challenge about working from home is getting focused on work. If you live alone that wouldn’t be much of a problem since you don’t have people to disturb you and you can focus on work on your own accord. But if you have a wife in the house and a crying baby beside you, focusing on work may be just a tad too difficult.
Making the People Around You Understand What Working From Home Means
The people who you live with should understand that when you step into your work space, you are in the office and not at home. You should be doing only the things that you would be doing if you were in an office. Tell the wife that you can’t take over washing the dishes because she is taking care of the baby.
You wouldn’t wash the dishes if you were in the office, would you? You can’t go out to run errands all the time because you are “not at home”; you are “at work”. You can’t have coffee with the wife in the living room on a chilly afternoon because you are “at work”. Spending time to do these things means that you have to extend your work hours. Making the people around you understand what “working from home” means will go a long way. A good rule of thumb is to ask them, “Do you think I can do that if I am in the office?” Employers actually require people who work from home to have a workspace where they can work undisturbed.
Working at home on the internet also comes with a lot of temptation. My video games are just a click away. Also, clicking a link on Facebook could take you to YouTube and sooner or later you realize you’ve already spent an hour or two just watching random videos. For this, you need nothing but self-control. No matter how close you are to beating that game that you’ve been playing for weeks, or no matter how much you’ve been wanting to watch that movie that’s showing on HBO, you have to tell yourself, would I play a game or watch a movie if I am in the office? Do you really want to work up until very late in the evening just because you stopped to do something else in the middle of the day? I think not.
While sometimes I do let myself get distracted like when I see the cats and decide that they need a bath right now, or when I need to go out to pay some bills or go to the bank, or when I decide I want to cook up a feast for tonight’s dinner. I can do that because I am at home but I understand that this means I need make up for lost time.
Working From Home Versus Traditional Office
I used to work in an office setting in the hustling and bustling city of Makati, the commercial capital of the Philippines. Rush hour is a real pain and it will really make you curse! When working from home, you don’t have to worry about rush hour traffic. You even save money because you don’t have to pay for transportation.
When I started working from home on a regular basis, one thing I really loved was having home-cooked meals. I worked in Makati for four years and that’s four years of eating out. In less than a year, I was already sick of McDonald’s and KFC. We sometimes eat at more fancy places but that really takes a toll on your budget. But now that I’ve been working from home for over a year, I kind of miss those oily and cheesy burgers. Human beings are such a hard bunch to please.
I started working from home just about the same time that I moved to my new house in Cavite, just a half hour travel away from the city. I realized that I have lost my social life. I don’t attribute it purely on working from home since moving to Cavite actually made it hard to meet up with my friends in the city. I am quite the introvert so I really haven’t made any friends in the village. But still, I’m thinking working from home will limit your social life to only your closest friends.
If You Live With Someone Who Works From Home
People who work from home take work just as seriously as people who work in an office. They have deadlines to meet. They have reports to submit. They have performance targets that they want to achieve. They need to put in sufficient work hours or else it will reflect poorly on their performance. If your partner works from home, cut him some slack and understand that working from home is not all fun and games. It is serious work. Get him a cup of coffee. He’d certainly appreciate the gesture.
The most important thing to remember for people who associate with someone who works from home is respect for his workplace. If you don’t respect the workspace, you don’t respect the person.