Working at home is the trend of the future, as more and more people eschew corporate life for a simpler and relaxed business environment. However, a business at home is not without problems. Here is a list of the top ten conflicts that you might experience while working at home:
1. Separating work and family life.
Start-up home based entrepreneurs find that the main advantage of a work-at-home business – to be near family – can be a disadvantage as well. Daily household routine can be a source of distraction for your business. Instead of answering emails, for example, you feel compelled to do the laundry.
If you have kids, then your work-at-home life becomes even more exciting. Try closing an important deal over the phone with your customer while your one-year old child cries his heart out – in your home office!
Given the fact that your two roles are under one roof – being a wife, for example, and being a businessperson – expect to experience difficulties in juggling the demands of both home and business.
2. Not enough space.
The setting-up of a home office is less of a problem if your house is big enough to offer extra space. However, space becomes a concern if you are living in a closed quarters, such as an apartment with hardly any room to spare. While you can make do with a makeshift office in a quiet corner of your hallway, the ideal office space is one that provides you with privacy and protection for your equipment and files.
3. Not being taken seriously.
The common concern of most home based business owners is whether their clients will consider their business a substantial one. Since home businesses are often regarded as “little hobbies,” their professional image and credibility normally suffers. Worse, they are not taken seriously! Home business owners should therefore project a professional business image.
4. Cannot do any work.
You start a home business, supposedly to be able to work from home — only to find that you cannot work from home! One reality home-based entrepreneurs are faced with is the fact that it is not easy to work from home. Others especially those who’ve never tried it may think that working from home is a piece of cake. But many entrepreneurs are finding that it takes a strong commitment, creativity in juggling various roles and tasks, and willingness to work beyond normal working hours to be able to successfully work from home.
The home is a fertile ground for interruptions. Your family and kids may demand your attention, your neighbors could drop in for a chat, housework that needs doing, dogs barking, even the daytime soap operas! Working at home is especially tough if you have a baby or very small children who demand your full and complete attention. Or you simply are not used to the isolation and freedom working from home brings that you think you need to take a course first on time management to be able to work effectively from your home.
5. Lack of privacy.
Unless you are living on your own or have your own private home office, privacy can be a concern. Imagine that your office is near the family room, for example, and guests drop by and loiter near your work area. Your documents, work and even files can be fair game to everyone!
6. Strain on family relationships.
Be sure that your family understands what it takes to operate a home business. Talk to your husband or wife and ask for their support, and explain to the children your need to be given time to work for the business. Some members of your family may resent the fact that while you stay in the house the whole day; your attention is not focused on them. However, be sure also to know when to stop working for your business and start living as part of the family.
7. Working too much.
When working at home, the line between work and family sometimes crosses. There is always the temptation to work long hours that may be difficult to resist, like checking and answering emails after dinnertime. Instead of spending quality time with the rest of the family, a home based businessperson sometimes fall into the trap of being consumed with work. They do not know when to stop.
8. Feeling isolated.
With no co-employees or bosses hovering in your workplace, the start-up home businessperson often finds it difficult to adjust in a solitary work environment. Suddenly, the whole work has become so quiet – no more exchanging weekend stories in the pantry, or exchanging jokes near the coffee machine. The isolation feels more intense for those who are adjusting from a corporate white-collar job to a home business and for those who are social in nature.
9. Self-discipline or self-management.
Your productivity as a home-based worker may go up or down, depending on your self-discipline. Working on your own business at home means that you are boss – there are no codes of conduct to follow, no weekly performance reports to keep you in tow, and no formal office routine. Others find that they are spending way too much time watching television, or they are having a hard time getting out of bed. If you fail to maintain a certain level of discipline, compounded by ineffective time management, it will be hard to accomplish your goals.
10. Zoning, home and condominium association regulations.
Before you finalize your plans for starting your home business, be sure to know the rules and regulations that govern your circumstances. If you live in an apartment or condominium, check with the management the level of business activity that they can tolerate. Your landlord may not allow you to receive too many visitors or the frequent comings-and-goings of delivery trucks may not be acceptable. If you are thinking of starting a catering business, for example, some states do not allow the establishment of a commercial kitchen in a residential area. It is better to be aware of the restrictions governing your business at the very start of your business.
Recommended Books on Working at Home:
- Work at Home Now: The No-nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living
- The Work-at-Home Success Bible: A Complete Guide for Women: Start Your Own Business; Balance Work and Home Life; Develop Telecommuting Strategies
- Working From Home: Top 7 Mistakes Business Owners Make In Eliminating Distractions – Productivity Report!
- All You Need To Know About Working From Home:Spoting the Right Work At Home Opportunity, Don’t Get Caught By Scammers,Freelancing,Balancing Home And Work,Stay Motivated,Success & Better Productivity
- 20 Tips for Balancing Family and Working at Home
- Office Business Centers: Is it Right for Your Home Business?
- Balancing Home and Work: The Challenge of the Home-Based Business
- How to Manage Disruptions When Working from Home
- How Do You Separate the Home from the Office?