Working at home can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, you’re avoiding a tiresome, costly morning commute, but business owners who work from home often complain of not being taken seriously by their loved ones. Whether it’s your significant another nagging you to cook dinner or your children noisily playing with their toys, running a business from home can certainly prove difficult at times. How then do you go about getting the respect you deserve?
Define clear working hours
Like any serious job, you need to have clear, defined working hours. We’re not suggesting you have to be a rigid 9-5er day in, day out – you are your own boss now, so you can choose hours which work best for you and make good business sense.
If your loved ones are aware of your working schedule, they are much less likely to disturb you during these times, much in the same way as they wouldn’t call you for a natter if you worked in a conventional office.
Create your designated workspace
Having a section of the house which you can call your own and designate solely for work purposes is vital. A separate study area, decked out with some lovely office furniture is perfect, but if this isn’t possible then even a desk in your bedroom can double-up as a makeshift home office. As long as your family recognises that this is your elected workspace and that they are not to interfere with it during your normal hours, then you can essentially make any area of the house your workplace if you really put your mind to it!
You wouldn’t choose to work in an environment where there were children running wild and a TV blasting out noise constantly, because, realistically, you’d never get anything done. It takes a very patient person to be able to concentrate through such a racket. Working at home is no different and the same rules you would expect to apply in a corporate setting should apply there too.
As such, you need to set boundaries and make sure your family understands and respects them. Communicate your needs and expectations from the outset and emphasise how important this is to you – at the end of the day, your family love you and should want to make you happy.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of owning a business is that you can set your own rules. Now it might seem tempting to work on the couch in your pyjamas every day, but that’s no way to prove to your friends and family that you’re a hard-working, respectable business owner.
As with most aspects in life, the way we conduct ourselves parallels how people respond to us, which means that if you dress and act like a professional, your friends and family are more likely to treat you as such. Follow these simple steps and your home-based business will continue to thrive!