If you ask your friends what working from home conjures up in their mind they will probably expect you to wear pajamas lounging on your quality lane furniture all day long, watch television in the morning, take coffee breaks every hour and make difficult decisions like which CD to play while you consider working.

In reality working from home is nothing like that, but many consider people starting work from home businesses as a leisure occupation sure to fail rather than thinking about the financial arrangements you will need to budget for when making real plans.

Work time and space

You must find consistent times to work that match your home and family needs as well as your business requirements. You will know when you need to be at home to look after small children and when you need to leave to ferry about the older ones who need you as a taxi service.

Your family needs to know that in work time you are not available to make the sandwiches or mend the lawnmower. That is your time to concentrate on work. They also need to know that you will not be investing in sound proofing and that they need to allow you time to work and business, just as you leave time to play with them.

The area you choose to work in must be set up to give you business advantages. It must be easy to collect paper from your printer; and you should have enough space to lay out your work without little fingers appearing and taking away your morning’s pride and joy.

Some people are lucky: they can move to a room previously reserved as a junk store to be out of the way of the family. Having a door to close prevents you from wasting work time running to the front gate to discuss the wonders of changing utility suppliers with passing sales people.

Don’t over work

There is always the danger that you work erratically when at home; after all, part of the point is to be flexible, but don’t overdo it. You might manage five minutes before your baby calls for you. Another fifteen minute stint in your home office might be offset by your partner requesting you check their latest purchases.

Try not to be distracted or your work will suffer, but you need to balance that with not alienating your family altogether. Being in your office at 6am and back in there at midnight might get a novel written, but it won’t help family relations.

Image source: smallbiztrends.com

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