Most people who run an online blog as their primary source of income tend to be home workers, with a dedicated space in the house given over to their office. This is a dream for the majority of people, as it frees up time for focusing upon work, while staying close to the domestic side of life which is close to all of our hearts.
There are a hundred and one benefits to being based at home. We can alternate between being in the office and catching up with chores, spend more time with our families, walk the dog in our lunch break and save time and money avoiding the daily commute to and from office premises. When we have things that need attending to urgently, we are simply a few footsteps away from reaching our desk and firing up the laptop ready to deal with them.
Having said all this, many people actually find that they can struggle with the challenges which working from home may present. One of the main issues the majority of home bloggers encounter is the attitude of family members who don’t quite ‘get’ what we do for a living. We can be working as hard as we ever did when we were based in an external office, and yet the very fact that we are at home if our spouse or partner goes to work can mean that the balance between home and work is upset.
People who stay at home are often expected to devote as much attention to cooking, cleaning or laundry as they give to their business, which can make the role of self-employed blogger twice as hard as it should otherwise be.
Another pitfall for people based at home is the intrusion of domestic events in to our world of work. It’s hard to conduct a conference call when the mail person is knocking with a parcel, someone wants to read a fuel meter or the lady from next door has popped over to borrow something from us. These interruptions are rarely welcomed if we are in the middle of drafting an article, dealing with customers or setting up a new product or service for our business.
Overall, most people who work from home say that they wouldn’t swap it for the world, and yet there need to be some strict ground rules in place in order to maximize the opportunity and ensure that we can do everything which we need to make our business a success, without compromising it for domestic issues. Here are some quick tips for keeping your business working well, in the midst of a busy home life…
• Have a dedicated space for your work if possible… don’t be tempted to blog in front of the television in the living room, or spread your work all over the dining room table each day
• Make it clear to your family that you are working, when you are within your standard office hours. Nothing can get in the way of a good business more than the need to stop halfway through the morning to bath the dog, or vacuum the floor
• Have a set schedule for undertaking business tasks. Having a rigid timescale for answering e-mails, publishing to your blog, selling or networking each day will really support you to stay focused and prevent you from straying in to domestic tasks
• Don’t let your work spill over in to the evening. Just as you don’t want to be ironing in office time, so your family won’t appreciate you tapping away at your laptop when you could be spending valuable time with them. That said, I’m terrible at this!
• Take regular breaks, but not necessarily to focus on domestic activities. It’s all very well scheduling in breaks from your office work, but don’t be tempted to fill your lunch hour with laundry, gardening or washing the dishes.
Do you have any other tips?