So it has been 18 months since I left the cubicle and began working from home. I would not change that for the world but there is another side to it.
Yes, working from home can get lonely. And yes, I do get out and visit with clients. But, it is not the same as being in an office where you see the same people day after day and spend hours with them.
I was not always in the office at my former jobs as I was a salesperson and traveled often too. But I always ended up at the office one time or another in a day.
Sometimes it was for meetings and other times to process ads. I had contact with others in the office throughout the day. I could vent with other salespeople and also generate ideas together.
Working Alone Day After Day
Now, oftentimes I work alone with my dog Hunter. He mostly is a great companion. There are times when he barks when I’m on a zoom meeting.
Hunter is great to have around in the summertime as we talk walks and that gives me a break. During the winter we do some walks weather permitting. But sitting so long has caused me a back issue too. :(
I do get out to consult, teach and train clients. I try to get out 2–3 times per week as I do need full days to manage and produce social media content and some blog writing. I still LOVE what I do. I just miss having people to talk to from time to time.
How To Make Working From Home Better
- Set up a schedule. Be sure to shower and get dressed by a certain time.
- Write down your to do list and check things off as you go. You will feel like you are accomplishing things.
- Contact clients week. Chat and connect with them to learn more what’s going on and how you can help them.
- Go to networking events. I do these from time to time and enjoy meeting new people. I’ve obtained a few clients from them as well.
- Set up time to learn new things. This is very important today as things change rapidly and you need to learn to grow your business and take care of your clients.
- Set up lunch dates with friends. Stay in touch with friends and meet up for lunch.
- Be sure to set up breaks! This is something I didn’t do enough and worked one day 18 hours straight. (Not good!)
- Delegate. Outsource some task so you are not working long hours. Try to shut down your office after 8 hours.
The Up Side of Working From Home
Most of the time I can do my work from anywhere. I can be at a doctors office or away for the weekend and still do tasks if necessary online.
But here are the benefits:
- You are your own boss. There really is no one to answer to.
- Time is your friend. You get to decide the hours to work, my most creative time is 4–6 am and I take advantage of that often.
- You can take vacations when you want. No worrying who else is away or if you have enough seniority. You will work hard and long before and after but it’s worth it. I took more vacations last year than ever before.
- Temperature control. You can control the temperature of your own office. Right? Every office has people with different temperature needs. I’ve seen many a fight over the degrees :)
- Dress code is your own. You can choose what to wear and be comfortable. You don’t need to get fully suited up. But of course if you are meeting with clients or doing video you may want to consider what you are wearing.
- You decide on your lunch time and breaks. No one is watching the clock.
- Doctor appointments? Haircuts? Dentist? No worries, you can make them whenever you need.
- Feel sick? No worries you can work from your bed. Been there, done that. Just don’t make big decisions or work on big projects when you are very sick. (Another lesson I’ve learned.)
I don’t have small children anymore but I did have my granddaughter on an overnight and I wondered: How do mothers with children at home get work done from home? That could be a major distraction.
So after 18 months from working at home I would do it again in a heartbeat. I believe the wintertime has been a little rough with loneliness but I’m filling the calendar with lunches and networking in between the work. The pluses way outweigh the minuses. They can be overcome!
I’d love to know how you deal with working from home and if you feel lonely at times there.