The reasons people have for wanting to work from home are many and varied, but most home based business owners cite is the ability to set their own hours as a major factor in their decision to work at home. However, many people that have work at home businesses often fall into a trap that flies directly in the face of their stated desire for time flexibility.
I know this to be true, I have been there.
The strong growth in home based business activity continues and, according to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, fifty-two percent of ALL small businesses are home-based. This could have increased especially during the recent global health crisis, COVID19.
Some home based business owners have been known to become “workaholics” because their office is so accessible. If you don’t have the discipline to set boundaries between your office hours and “home” hours, you’d end up slaving more hours than you did when you worked in a traditional office.
Don’t become a slave to your business…get out of your home office regularly to renew and revitalize yourself.
Close the door to your office or otherwise remove yourself from your designated “work area” and go into your “home” area to live your personal life. If your business involves the use of the telephone and you find it difficult to ignore a ringing phone in the office, simply turn the ringer off and turn the volume on the answering machine way down. If your business is internet based, just turn off your computer (or at least get away from the monitor and keyboard).
As a work at home business entrepreneur, you certainly aren’t required to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just because your business is located in your home. After all, your office or workspace is just an area in your home…its not your home itself!
Working and living under the same roof has a host of advantages, but it can present some challenges (in addition to the workaholic syndrome mentioned, above) and stress factors.
Here are four ways to create a less stressful home business environment:
-Remember why you wanted to become involved with a home-based business (i.e. more time for family, work schedule flexibility, etc.)
-Have discussions with your family members and get their input about the working arrangements and the amount of time they want with you.
-Use good time management techniques. Keep a list of tasks by order of importance. There are many low cost and effective “day planners” or “organizers” readily available today.
-ALWAYS take a little time to “smell the roses”.
While not experiencing the negatives common to a corporate office working environment, the home-based business owner may occasionally experience stresses and frustrations that are unique to working at home.
-Networking with other home-based and small business owners provides an opportunity to connect with others who may be experiencing the same stresses/frustrations that you are. Sharing stressful and/or frustrating issues with someone else in the same situation can relieve your stress and may bring you good advice from a different point of view.
The biggest tip I can give you to have more work-life balance? Hire a virtual assistant.
As a final note, remember to observe Home-Based Business Week each year (it is always the week of October that includes the second Tuesday).
Yes, your home based business can be a real time trap, don’t fall into it!
Send me a message if you need clarity on how a Virtual Assistant can support your business.