Someone just screamed at their phone: “NO!”
And I sympathize.
In February or March, your employer may have joined the worldwide lockdown movement.
The company sent you home to work. From … home. Every … weekday. For … for months!
You plunged ahead, called your entrepreneur buddies for support, and … “got ‘er done.”
You’ve seen the work world from our side.
And we’ve seen that gleam in your eye
Are you ready to leap into a home office full time?
Say “Goodbye” to the corporate world?
Let’s have a little fun as we try to figure it out.
Did you try the fake commutes?
Did you dress for work and drive around the block a couple of times before you were ready to tackle your day?
One person told me he now has breakfast meetings at least two days
a week to get the business-mode juices flowing
I thought these ideas were just funny TV commercials, but they’re real!
You know what? If fake commutes get you pumped for work, go for it.
Did you work in your jammies?
Hey! whatever trips your trigger. Suit? Pajamas?
Most of us land somewhere in between.
I stick with business casual.
If the doorbell rings or a client needs a face-to-face on a project, I’m prepared.
Did you keep regular hours?
If you ‘work for the man,’ you probably kept the company’s regular hours.
‘Regular hours’ is a relative concept, though.
I tend to stay up late and start my workdays later than most people.
This is my ‘regular,’ and I set my schedule around it.
At first, I felt guilty for not. doing. the. regimented. 8:00. to. 5:00.
Then I acquired clients in five different time zones.
I am not feeling guilty anymore. I work to my unique biorhythm, which is during someone’s 8:00 to 5:00.
Encouragement from home-based entrepreneurs
Let me share some ideas from (mostly) people who have jumped off the clichéd corporate treadmill.
I hope you find something to encourage you.
- “Stay professional (in or out of your pajamas), and discipline yourself to start/stop work when you need to. Business is business, whether you’re in a 10-story mega-company or a room at home. Freelancers have figured this out over the years. You can, too. We’re a helpful bunch. Just ask … we can give you ideas for your situation.”
- “It took forever to get past Imposter Syndrome. Who did I think I was, sitting in my house, acting like I was doing real work? I finally realized: I was doing real work, just like Hewlett and Packard and Dell and Harley and Davidson and Disney with their humble beginnings!”
- “The biggest mistake I made was thinking I could cancel my kids’ daycare once I went out on my own. I couldn’t work at home with them underfoot anymore than I would have in an office. They go to daycare two days a week, and they love it. That’s when I get most of my projects done.”
- “What did I learn from COVID? My entrepreneur friends work harder than I do! No wonder they’re so good at getting through computer issues. I thought I had this tech thing down until I was stuck at home with no IT department to back me up. I admire anyone who takes this on full time as the owner.”
- “I empathize. I’ve been working from home for 20 years and feel it took the first 10 to get on top of it. I felt bad for all the people who were forced into working at home this year. I wondered, “How will they figure out the balance between office and home?” Well, just like we did, I guess. You make it work.”
- “The best advice I can throw out there for a home office? Set aside space. The dining room table doesn’t count. A room where you can shut the door is best, even if it’s tiny. My first office was a walk-in closet in my apartment. I could draw a physical and mental line between work and home by closing the door. Make yourself ignore that area during off-hours.”
The good news/bad news of it all
The good and bad news about working from home? Same answer for both:
“You’re cut out for it, or you’re not.
There is no ‘sort of’ or middle ground.
No one can teach it to you. It’s a mindset.”
A friend told me about a manager who can’t handle the work-at-home ‘thing.’
When this supervisor discovered her group would continue working remotely … for the foreseeable future … she imploded.
The team is disbanding as the employees leave for a work-conducive atmosphere.
Have you decided?
After all these months, you know where you fall in this work-from-home matter.
What’s the verdict?
If you can get the discipline down, a home office may work for you.
You can learn all the business-y stuff, but …
A work-no-matter-what attitude
and the ability to go with the flow
is born in you
Today, I’ve unloaded the dishwasher, done two loads of laundry (nothing’s folded or put away, yet if that makes you feel better), and helped a neighbor with a printout.
Those first two took about four hours since part. of. the. discipline is doing the extra stuff in spurts during short breaks.
Then it’s back to the projects and deadlines.
My workdays rarely contain Domestic Goddess duties.
But when they do, I can cope.
If you’re a good work-from-home
candidate, you can cope, too
Join the Conversation
It’s your turn!
Please select one of these discussion topics, or bring your own.
• Find a way to start or save a business during the shutdown?
• Make a work-at-home discovery that surprised you?
• Decide to look seriously at entrepreneurship?
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Let’s all learn from each other
Thanks for stopping by!
I look forward to talking with you about your next writing project.
Click here to email me and start the conversation: Kathie@KathieYork.com