What's Hardest About Working at Home?

When you’re just starting out working at home or even if you’ve been doing it for a while, you need to consider the downsides to working at home. It’s not all fun.

I’m fortunate in that things are working out well for me as a work at home mom, but there are times that I realize I’m letting things get out of hand and working too much.

Working too much is a very common hazard. It’s just so EASY to go back to the computer and keep working. The kids might want to play, you might really need to get dinner going, but there’s just that one little thing you really, really want to get done.

When I catch myself at it, I make an effort to do better. I take more time with the kids. Today we went to the park for lunch, for example. Didn’t quite turn out how I hoped, but overall we had fun.

It’s easy for me to overwork. I love what I do, and that can be a big part of the problem. Raising kids is fun, but so is what I do.

It’s the work-life balance that really impacts most people who work at home. Shutting down and keeping to office hours is not easy. But it’s a very important skill to learn.

Most people who work at home do so to have more time with their families, but in actual practice many spend less fun time, just because there’s always something more to be done. And work is just so accessible….

One tactic is to choose a room for your home office. This of course assumes you have a spare room available. But putting your office somewhere that you can close the door and not see it can really help you keep to whatever office hours work for you.

Ah but those office hours! If you don’t plan them well you may find yourself spending too much or too little time working. You could find that the hours you thought you wanted really aren’t that workable.

You have to find your balance. When is it really and truly practical for you to work? Don’t expect that to last the entire year. If you have children in school you can expect your summer schedule to be different from the one you use when they’re in school. Add in extracurricular activities and your work schedule may need to vary quite a bit.

Most people who work at home will struggle regularly with the balance. But if you keep an eye on it you can maintain a very healthy and fun balance.

[tags]work-life balance,family,kids,children,working at home[/tags]

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3 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    Definitely true. The hardest thing about working from home is to stop working! Especially because we generally love what we do so much.

    The most important thing you can do is establish when family time will be and stick to it.

  2. Pamela says:

    Time management is probably the reason as to how people manage to overcome the hard things when working at home. It’s true that working at home will sometimes shorten or lengthen workings hours.
    But the benefit of being close to your loved ones is an advantage.

  3. Donna says:

    You are so right — time management is the biggest challenge, period. Most of us who had careers outside the home before we became moms probably don’t get it until we try to apply the skills we acquired in the workplace to the home office… and discover that the relative lack of structure (i.e., with children around, your days are less predictable) wreaks havoc with your well-defined to-do list. I’m still trying to make the adjustment — and I’ve been working at home now for nearly eight years!