Working from Home
Working from home is so practical when you have small children. I loved my job, but building my own business from home is even better.
Why I Work From Home
Until recently I had a professional corporate office job. I have two small children aged 5 and 3. I loved my job, but life was just too busy and complicated.
I decided to take a career break and started working from home. I'm now building an online business and hope to work up to a good income over the next few years. It's a brilliant way of combining work and having children without feeling I'm having to make major compromises.
If you're considering working from home, this article will help you work out if it's the right lifestyle for you, and give you some things to think about to prepare. Working at home doesn't work for everyone, but it's turning out very well for me.
Things to Consider Before Working From Home
Working from home is not ideal for everyone, and there are certainly things you should consider before making a major change.
- Would you feel isolated? I'm an introvert. I enjoy my own company. I get to see other parents at school 2 or 3 times a day, I have some meetings with collaborators and I have my younger son at home with me some of the time. That's quite enough interaction for me, but some people need a lot of human contact.
- Your fuel bills will go up because you're at home more. Don't forget to factor this into your financial calculations.
- People will pop round or phone for a chat in ways that they wouldn't if you were actually at work. Make sure you let people know when your working hours are.
- Working from home can be a very sedentary lifestyle. Consider how you'll work exercise into your life.
- Are you motivated and self-starting? Some people don't work well without external constraints and someone looking over their shoulder. Working from home won't be very productive if you get easily distracted and your work takes much longer than it should.
My Essential Item for Working from Home
I must work exercise into my routine
|Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board|
Benefits of Working from Home
Here's what I love about working from home:
- I actually get to live in my house and properly enjoy it. Before I was so shattered when I was at home that I felt like I was just passing through. Now I get to enjoy the lovely house I live in.
- I really enjoy my own company (lots of people don't so think carefully about this if you plan to work from home.) My job involved being in meetings with people all day. Which I actually enjoyed a lot, but I enjoy being on my own even more.
- I'm usually in when deliveries arrive and it's easy to make appointments that require someone coming to the house - that stuff was very complicated when we were both out all day.
- I'm much more efficient because I do housework during my thinking time. I do 45 minutes work then 15 minutes of chores. I'm gradually managing to declutter all the stuff that piled up while life was so hectic.
- It's really easy to be around when my kids need me. I can pop round for school events and I don't have to panic if one of them is sick. I just about managed when I was working in an office and I don't think they missed out, but it was exhausting for me.
- I can work whenever I like. This works well for me as I love what I do and consider it a hobby as well as a job. I often work early in the morning so I can have time free later in the day and then work again in the evening. (Again this wouldn't work for a lot of people.)
- No commute. OK this one doesn't make much difference to me as my commute was only 15 minutes including walking to my desk. But even 30 minutes a day adds up.
Thinking about Working from Home?
I thought about working from home for a long time before I actually did it. One of the key influences was reading books about people with different lifestyles. I didn't follow any one guru in my approach, but I did take ideas from various places.
One important book was Tim Ferris's classic 4 Hour Work Week. No, I don't work 4 hours a week! And I don't want Tim's lifestyle. But his book was a real eye-opener to me. It made me think a lot more about being efficient and made working for myself from home seem quite plausible.
Another very different, but just as influential book was Extreme Early Retirement by Jacob Lund Fisker. Fisker advocates lowering your expenses so you don't need to work for so long, giving you much more choice about how you get to spend your time, including some work if you want to. Again, I didn't want Fisker's lifestyle, but it did make me realize that I didn't need to earn a very high salary for my whole career.
4 Hour Work Week
|The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of ...|
More than 100 pages of new, cutting-edge content. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, ...
Early Retirement Extreme
Jacob Lund Fisker
|Early Retirement Extreme: A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence|
Early Retirement Extreme provides a robust strategy that makes it possible to stop working for money in just a short number of years. It provides a paradigm shift in economic ...
Read about different work at home lifestyles and see what resonates with you.
Do I wish I'd Started Working from Home Sooner?
Do I wish I'd started working from home sooner? A few people have asked me this question. And honestly the answer is no. This was the right time for me. I loved my job and I'm so glad to have had that experience.
If I'd done it sooner then I think I would have wondered what I had missed out on in my career.