Pitfalls of the home office and solutions

Feeling isolated

The main challenge facing most home-based small business people is the feeling of being isolated from the mainstream of business life, resulting in lower motivation and a loss of work discipline. The transiton is most difficult perhaps for people who have moved from busy offices.

Interruptions by family

It’s hard to stop children interrupting you at work, especially if your home office also doubles as the lounge. “Once my children were old enough to understand,” comments one home business person, “I explained to them that Mummy does need to be left alone at certain times so that she can earn the food that they eat and all the other nice things that they want. I’m also careful to structure in some payoff, so that they know if they’re quiet for a certain period, there will be a reward, such as me joining them in a game for 20 minutes.”

Interruptions by friends

This can be a problem, especially when you first start working from home and friends imagine they can pop in for tea or coffee. Making your office hours clear to your friends and treating them somewhat more formally during office hours will help.

A great role model

The consolation of being interrupted by your children is that you are a great role model to them. They are growing up witnessing you as a self-reliant, self-employed business person, growing and developing a business that feeds the family. What better preparation could there be for their own future as possible entrepreneurs? Many parents successfully draw their children into the business as they get older, letting them share business tasks of increasing responsibility.

Neighbours

Make sure you keep your neighbours informed of what you’re doing and maintain good relations with them.

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