Working from home has a certain sense of romanticism to it. As someone who does work from home, I can tell you that there are certainly some benefits. However, it is correct to suggest that working from home is not for everyone. There are some drawbacks, which is why people should think carefully about how they will structure their work. Here are some things that I do to manage working from home.
I am not a big believer that people can truly multitask, particularly when it comes to more complex processes. However, I do find myself doing a little bit of work at odd hours of the day, and I have found that tasks compete with other activities. This may include the evening hours when I am relaxing, or watching a little television. Granted, this is also one of the downsides of working from home. You can always work, which means that it is sometimes hard to put the work away. Therefore, I will sometimes do more than one thing at once, but I also have to discipline myself to build in some leisure time away from my projects.
If you work from home, you still need to have a professional mindset. This isn't just about hanging out and getting paid for doing your usual household tasks. Granted, some people only work from home part-time, which means that they may have some flexibility in their schedule. For me, working from home is about planning ahead and realizing that free time can quickly get swallowed up. When you work from home, you are budgeting between competing interests, which can include professional obligations, family and household tasks. I have to be very diligent about making sure I anticipate unforeseen scheduling conflicts that might interfere with workplace deadlines.
Getting up and leaving
There are times that I just have to get up and leave. That may defeat the purpose of working from home, but in some ways it helps to create balance. Since so much work is done on my laptop, I can literally go anywhere. Sometimes I will go to a coffee shop or a local park, just so I can be in a different environment that is free from the diversions from home. The home environment can be very comfortable, but it can also be filled with all sorts of little distractions.
Working from home has its benefits, but it isn't always the best environment for getting things done.
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