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  • #981984
    Cool Zephyr
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    I read this article on mashable today and a couple of points made me laugh, specifically the “You lose your boundaries” part.

    http://mashable.com/2013/02/16/working-from-home/

    Does this ring a bell to any flying soloers? What’s your greatest challenge in working from home and how do you manage it?

    #1134043
    Greg_M
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    Losing boundaries is the big one for me, when I first started working from home I’d either start at 11 am and finish at midnight, or start at 6 am and still be working into the early evening.

    I actually moved to an office for nearly 2 years to sort this out, and it worked … I’m now working from home again (boring story) … but have found it not as bad as before, I’ve learnt the lesson I think, if anything I’m actually doing less overall (part economy, mainly choice) and getting a better margin, even beyond the obvious reduction in costs.

    I don’t get easily distracted when I am working, probably because I’ve been self employed a very long time and the self discipline you need to stay focused is second nature. I no longer have kids living at home, so no distraction or workload there.

    Having a good space is important, I have a dedicated office, small but well set up with a pleasant garden outlook. The way it’s situated I can have the occasional business visitor without disturbing the rest of the house.

    Apart from the odd scrap with my better half it works OK most of the time … my personality is also suited to long periods of little or no social contact, but I think it’s a good idea to set up something that gets you out the gate regularly and interact with world.

    I also live in a small country town, which can get a bit claustrophobic even without work issues, so I now regularly take a leisurely train ride to the city, catch up with Melbourne based clients, drink good coffee, and I have a casual membership in a co-working space in the city to meet up, or actually get some work done.

    #1134044
    Jodie McLeod
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    Hi Cool Zephyr,

    This is a topic we love discussing on Flying Solo! Of course, we think the positives outweigh the negatives :) but there’s no denying some aspects of working from home are difficult.

    We’ve got plenty of articles written on the topic, including this one, which addresses some of the challenges and how to overcome them.

    One unexpected challenge of working from home is feeling guilty for the privilege – which I’ve looked at in today’s article, “Not Guilty!” Dealing with soloist guilt.

    Interested to see what other people say…

    Cheers,

    Jodie

    #1134045
    Cool Zephyr
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    estim8, post: 152655 wrote:
    I don’t get easily distracted when I am working, probably because I’ve been self employed a very long time and the self discipline you need to stay focused is second nature. I no longer have kids living at home, so no distraction or workload there.
    I’m only just on my first and she’s hitting the terrible two’s her favourite pass time seems to be banging on my office door and reaching up to smash on my keyboard when I’m away from my desk – unfortunately her coding needs some improvement.

    Focus is a huge thing and for me it’s just a matter of putting the headphones on and having an “hour of power” a few of times a day where there’s no emails or phone calls allowed!

    estim8, post: 152655 wrote:
    Having a good space is important, I have a dedicated office, small but well set up with a pleasant garden outlook. The way it’s situated I can have the occasional business visitor without disturbing the rest of the house.

    Huge difference, I moved from our sunroom into a spare bedroom to get away however working in a bedroom didn’t feel office enough and was kind of depressing to be honest! Since then I’ve moved the laundry into the garage and turned that space into an office which has been amazing for not only my productivity but also my mood.

    estim8, post: 152655 wrote:
    I also live in a small country town, which can get a bit claustrophobic even without work issues, so I now regularly take a leisurely train ride to the city, catch up with Melbourne based clients, drink good coffee, and I have a casual membership in a co-working space in the city to meet up, or actually get some work done.
    Ditto although my old home town of Melbourne is probably an 18hr drive from where I am now! Flying solo has been awesome in this respect it’s refreshing to have such an active community of like minded entrepreneurs!
    #1134046
    Cool Zephyr
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    FS Editor, post: 152749 wrote:
    Hi Cool Zephyr,
    One unexpected challenge of working from home is feeling guilty for the privilege – which I’ve looked at in today’s article, “Not Guilty!” Dealing with soloist guilt.

    Thanks Jodie – interesting read. I really only tend to feel guilty when I’m not doing the work I should be! Can be tough sticking to your guns when the sun is shining and the birds are singing!

    Cheers,

    Anton

    #1134047
    Greg_M
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    I remember the terrible two’s, my eldest was inclined to whack strangers in the supermarket … he turned out ok though, and has just produced my first grand daughter, so I guess it starts all over again.

    Long drive for a coffee, but looking at your location, you’d need to swim the first few K’s wouldn’t you?

    There’s a lot of challenges working for yourself, including working from home but I think having a job has plenty of risk and downside associated with it.

    At least no one can walk in and tell me I’m sacked … seems to be plenty of that going on in this part of the world.

    #1134048
    Cool Zephyr
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    estim8, post: 152764 wrote:
    I remember the terrible two’s, my eldest was inclined to whack strangers in the supermarket … he turned out ok though, and has just produced my first grand daughter, so I guess it starts all over again.

    Yep Grandma is an integral part of my operation 2 days daycare, 1 day Grandma’s & 2 days at home with mum. Depending on your geography you may have some little visitors during the week too!

    #1134049
    Traction Teambuilding
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    I work from home when not out delivering workshops and my biggest challenge is staying motivated. I feed off the energy of others and can hit a real low if I have a day in the office by myself.

    The business is experiencing some excellent growth and I can see that I do need to eventually team up with someone to take the business to the next level.

    Having a business partner/employee would also be a great motivator – so we can bounce ideas around etc.

    Its the catch 22 though – where will I find someone if the business can’t afford them…but how can the business grow without them!

    Many challenges to conquer…!!!

    #1134050
    Chris H
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    It’s good to know that I am a workaholic among fellow addicts.
    An addiction, I’m more than happy to kick and move on to tropical beaches, palm trees… *Sigh*

    For me, if I am awake and someone isn’t hassling me to do something for them, then I am usually working.
    To keep myself productive and not just occupied with busywork, I adopt a form of the “Rocks in the jar” time management philosophy.
    Everyone is probably familiar, but here it is anyway: http://www.real-estate-marketing-link.info/time_management_lesson.html
    (I’m not in real estate btw, that was just the first link that came up)

    There are certain tasks in my day that are time sensitive, for example.
    Courier pick-ups booked first thing
    Can’t call clients during lunch break
    bank is open 9-5
    2 to 3 hours between Australian close of business and Asian suppliers close.
    Then European suppliers are awake.
    Emails to the USA can be done late at night.

    The trick for me is prioritising tasks that must be performed at specific time and then proportioning time to tasks on the basis of reward, i.e. making sure a certain percentage of my day is dedicated to sales.

    With this loose philosophy I find that my day sort of works itself out.

    #1134051
    Tracey G
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    For me, the biggest challenge of working from home is separating work time from personal time. The temptation to creep back to the computer is always there.

    I try to work away from home every few days for the sake of change. Working remotely in a cafe sounds like the soloist’s dream, but in reality it can be a bit of a hassle, trying to find a free powerpoint if needed, is there free, reliable and secure wifi, getting a table that’s big enough to fit your laptop plus coffee, etc. It depends on the cafe of course.

    I have worked at the library which is ok for short stints (it’s not much good when the phone rings and you have walk out to answer it) and now I’m investigating casual co-working space options for the occasional days when I want to meet up with work associates. For me, variety works well.

    #1134052
    dextereugenio
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    i have 2 challenges.

    one is aged 3, the other is 8 months.

    though granted, my wife does a stellar job of being out of the house doing the domesticated stuff, but when they’re home its a huge distraction.

    the other real challenge which I’ve never really overcome is confidently portraying a sense of professionalism when people ask “where’s your office?” and you reply “I work from home”

    granted most people don’t care (and neither should I), but you know there are certain types of people that want to deal with companies with swish offices, thousand dollar suits, and all that jazz. so dropping the “i have a home office” line is said a couple of decibels lower from me.

    #1134053
    John Templeton
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    I find that there are soooo many more distractions when you’re working from home. “Ohh, the mailmans’ just been I’ll pop out and check it”, “ohh I’ve got to hang that load of washing out”, “ohh better sort something out for dinner”, etc etc etc. It takes a lot of discipline to start out with but if you can get some sort of daily routine and concentrate on working when you’re most switched on, it can certainly be a blessing.

    #1134054
    Calcul8or
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    Working from home is the best thing ever! I have no trouble getting stuck into work, and can sit at my desk practically all day long working away. The thing that gets me though is being distracted by things like facebook or the internet generally when my mind starts to wander.

    But this affliction is not exclusive to my being at home. I suffered the exact same distractions at all of my previous jobs, and had to contend with the same bouts of acute sleepiness which seems to strike particularly after lunch!

    If I could just get rid of those two things, I could be so much more productive regardless of where I was working!

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1134055
    Zava Design
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    I recently had a client ask for my “business address” to “prove” my credentials. I told him as a freelancer that worked at home I did not give out my home address, my PO Box is my business address. He didn’t accept this, to him seemed to convey I was a “dodgy” company or similar.

    I don’t mind, plenty more fish in the sea and the first time anyone has ever made an issue of it, made me laugh actually.

    #1134056
    Calcul8or
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    It’s strange that some people still seem to have issues with businesses operating out of home.

    Being in a comfortable environment without having to spend hours in traffic means that I am more focused, have more hours in the day and can therefore deliver a higher level of work than sitting in a sterile office somewhere, having to put up with annoying conversations about the footy.

    I am more relaxed, feel more enthusiastic about my work, and strive to be as productive as I can, which is pretty much the opposite to any other situation I’ve been in.

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
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