It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? “I can work at my kitchen table in my pajamas if I want to!” It certainly sounds freeing and much better than dealing with rush hour traffic twice a day. More and more companies are actually getting on board with having people work from home. It reduces overhead for them. But they are also discovering that some people aren’t a good fit for working from home.
Grant Cardone, author of If You’re Not First, You’re Last wrote, “The level of discipline it takes to work from home and generate solid results is intense and most people fail at home because of this fact.”
It does indeed take a special mindset to be able to work from home and get quality work completed on time. I have worked from home for over twenty-five years and I will admit that the first couple of years I found myself constantly distracted. What helped me was to set up an office space and work specific hours. I did manage to maintain a certain amount of flexibility, but I found that when I was too flexible, I had to work long hours late into the night in order to meet my deadlines. I don’t like working at night, so for me, keeping an early morning schedule was far preferable to playing catch up at night.
When I worked, I also insisted that the entire family leave me alone. It was relatively easy when I got up before anyone else. But once my family was awake, it become more difficult to concentrate. I had to train my family to take care of their needs without me during the times I had to work. By constantly reminding them that I was working, they finally understood. Getting them on board really helped me to become very focused when I worked so that when I left my work I could be fully present to my family.
My sister also works from home and one day we had a computer conference. She was dressed, including earrings and makeup. When I commented on that she said, “If I don’t get up and get ready for work as if I were going IN to work, then my mind doesn’t really believe I’m working.” From that day forward, I started to do the same thing. I also felt more professional when I got on the phone with clients. I know they couldn’t see me in my sweats or when I was still in my pajamas, but I knew the difference. Our minds are very powerful. When I got my mind on board with my work at home plans, I became much more productive.
If you think working at home is a good fit for you. Give it a try. For those who are successful at it, they love it. If you find, however, that you miss interpersonal interaction with other people, or you just don’t feel you’re progressing as quickly as you think you should, perhaps it might be time to return to the office. There is no loss of face if you determine that working at home is not a good fit for you. And you’re the only one who can make that determination.