So what’s it really like to work from home?

I get asked this question a lot… a lot. I have worked from home for 10 years, gone back out into the crazy world and traffic once more for a year last year and finally come full circle again working from home in a real, paid part – time job for another real company and I am loving it so much I might add!. You would be amazed how many people ask if the company I work for now and have worked for previously are real. I am not sure what they mean..maybe the fear of the unknown, the belief that if it is too good to be true it probably is.

The unknowing is slowly fading away now as more and more people telecommute and more jobs open up in home based roles, yet it seems there is a quite a bit of division of whether people want to do it or not. I have girlfriends who tell me they just would not have the discipline to do daily what I do, they would be distracted with all things home and family and this can happen if you are not careful . From my experience, let me try and answer some of the more common questions when you tell people you work from home have…

How do you stay disciplined to work all day and not do housework or laundry? Answer: The simple answer is that if I started doing housework or laundry, someone would soon notice. Work from home jobs are often quite demanding and they need to be. Your boss wants to be sure they are receiving value for money for giving you the trust and privilege of working from your home… You may have phone lines to answer using Skype or Aircall or a mobile number, you may have Chat lines to respond to quickly and efficiently and emails to reply to within a certain time frame.. or you may just have a busy role that if you are not there working on it consistently, sooner or later someone will notice and trust me, they do! Having been a manager it certainly doesn’t take long to work out if staff were available or at times distracted.. the emails, calls and chats piling up will always tell the truth..So.. the answer is , you treat your work hours as work and do your work, you do all your other jobs outside of those hours, just as you would if you worked away from home..no difference and don’t make it a habit of doing this at all.

How do you get a job like your’s? You get out there. You look, you Google, you apply, you put your name out there, you work hard building your craft, getting your work noticed, hustling, making sure your skills, your work ethic, your reputation is 100% spot on.. You pray as well..I am a bit of a believer in manifesting and if you really want it, it will come to you as long as you believe it can.

What’s the good things about working from home? Well obviously the associated costs of commuting, be it a car and fuel and running costs with Insurance and rego and wear and tear or Public transport costs. The Corporate Wardrobe costs, getting up early, getting home late , the coffee/lunches costs. The office politics, people fiddling with aircons because they are too hot/too cold/ too dry.. trust me, I have had this happen to me and it drove me crazy.. Heavy smokers taking smoke breaks every 30 minutes, coming back wreaking of nicotine, and not giving a care in the world for their ex (aka me) or non smoker colleagues and breathing on them whilst leaning over them checking on what work they were doing while they were outside doing no work… hmm??? wtf ..Grey Walls, no views, people who come to work sick/hungover/tired/angry/sad.. all this stuff affects you. It does. I am not saying these people were horrible or bad or anything, but all this stuff affects you, it changes your day, your work day and it seriously can really bring you down.

The other good things are, I can get up at 8.55am if I have had a late night and start work in my pyjamas( only done this twice ever 🙂 ) . I can have a swim in the pool at lunchtime, I can work by the pool in Summer, in fact, I can work where ever there is a reasonable internet speed and… I have..hello Broome, you gorgeous town!.. I can also finish my day and know I am home already, no long commute times, traffic and delays.. I also get a peaceful office, where I can make it my own space, personalise it, work outside in the sun if the weather is great, tuck up inside under a blanket over my legs if it’s not.. go to a cafe for a couple of hours if I want some socialisation or be home if I have a sick child in bed, be home for uni student holidays with tonnes of kids here swimming.. and don’t get me started for online shopping deliveries so no Post Office trips…

So what, if any are the negatives? The negatives are few, but they are there. If you are super social, you can get lonely. Lucky for me, I am happy with all day conversations on Skype or Slack which keep my need for interaction satisfied. Also, it is very easy to do work outside of your work hours if you have a very busy role. This is OK every once in a while, however you should not make it a habit.

You also need to train your family and friends that you have a real job, it pays your salary , so they should not be impeding on any work time with requests to assist them in their day to day living unless of course it is an emergency or something that is quite reasonable like specialist appointments etc. But this would not include the following : “Mum can you run me to the train station at 10am in the morning?” No, darling , catch the bus.. Hey darling, can you pick me and the boys up and drop us to watch the cricket/ footy/ Golf/ State of Origin..OK, State of Origin I would probably try to help, but the rest, no, get an Uber or just don’t drink honey and there is this one: Hey Jen, thought I might drop over for a coffee later today as it’s my day off.. um, no I love you to bits but.. let me come over and visit you at work in your office for a coffee when I am on holidays…. can we catch up on the weekend instead?

Also when you are sick, working from home is the pits.. where do you go? You are already home so you may as well work, unless you have accidentally cut off your fingers or dislocated a shoulder.. You also need to be extremely disciplined. You can’t run off and just do what ever you feel like doing. You.Have.To.Work. It’s the right thing to do and you are getting paid to put in the hours so you have to remember that.

I love working from home, I love the freedom, I love the space and quiet, I love the lack of politics, I love the simpleness of it all.. it’s not for everyone, as I have said earlier, I have had friends say they couldn’t do what I do, but for me and my family..it works.

 I am forever eternally grateful to be given the opportunity to do work that is fulfilling and enjoyable, with people who are amazing at what they do each day in the environment I feel gives me the opportunity to be 100% on my game with what I do each day as well, my home. Every day I thank God I am not sitting in peak hour, with aching feet from my heels, tired to the bone from the commuting/early starts/late finishes …blessed and grateful absolutely! 

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