Home Office Problems – Solved

Top 5 Home Office Problems


home office avoids congestionThe disadvantages of a home office are tied to the main advantage — you don’t have to commute into an office every day. But while it sounds great to avoid rush hour, consider the downsides.

1.  Becoming isolated. Loneliness is the number one home office problem. If you’re working from home full-time, you can become desperate for human contact!  Some people feel this more than others.

Solutions: If isolation is a problem for you, go to a coffee shop or a library.  Or organise a weekly breakfast club of other people who work from home.  Discuss common issues and goals.  You will meet up with other people, and perhaps find solutions to customer problems you had not thought of.

2.  Becoming the fallback care provider. When you work from home, people sometimes forget the “work” part. You run the risk of neighbours, teachers and even your spouse taking for granted that you will be in the home during work hours. While it may be simple to let a repairman in the house now and then, you don’t want to be called on for multiple errands and child care when you’re supposed to be doing your job.

Solutions:  Set rules – for yourself as well as others.   Make sure you are professional and serious about your work, even though it is at home.  If you see yourself as professional, so will others.   You will need to discuss with the other members of your household that even though you are at home all day, you cannot drop everything for them.  They need to understand from you what it takes to run a home business.  Ask for their support.

Home Office Problems

Home Office Problems

3.  Feeling work-family conflict. One of the biggest home office problems arises if you have young children at home. It can be hard for them to understand that you’re physically present but unable to care for them. Older children and even spouses may fail to respect your work time or space and interrupt for just a “quick question.”

Solutions: set “office hours” and stick to them, just as if you were working in an office or store or factory.  Play your part by stopping working at the end of your allotted time, and participate fully in family life.  You have to find a way to separate work from family, if they are both going to work.  Even if it means duct tape or making yourself some walls.

4.  Not getting work done.  You might find yourself distracted by a friend who pops in to chat, or by housework or home repairs which need to be done. This is one of the home office problems that nearly all home workers feel.

Solutions: Again, set rules.   For yourself.  During your working hours, you have to work.  If you sometimes find you simply cannot work from home, find a library or coffee shop (with wi-fi if you need it) and work there.  Have a task list of things you must achieve that day.  Know you have limited time, and no one to remind you to get stuff done, except yourself.   Focus!

If you are an employee, and tele-commuting, you have some additional problems:

5. Missing out on shop talk. You’re so much more productive when you telecommute because you don’t waste time chit-chatting with co-workers. But chatting serves an important purpose – building relationships and allowing for casual brainstorming and information sharing.

Solutions:  Call colleagues regularly and stop by the office to keep your network strong. Identify the important meetings and events to attend in person. You need to avoid being blindsided by layoffs, being unaware of a new corporate strategy or missing an opportunity to participate in high-profile projects.

 

I have worked from home during several stages of my life.  It’s great!  I don’t have a problem with the isolation, but I have battled with conflicting demands, people seeing the “home” but not the “work” part, and often working very long hours.   But it is wonderful not to face the daily commute to the office!

Next: what are the health and safety issues involved with a home office.

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6 comments… add one

Your thoughts and opinions are important to me! Do tell me in the comments below!

  • John Moulder 25th July 2011, 4:36 PM

    Home office’s will become the future for a lot of the population in the future . You do have to work at it though as you have discussed Clare .

    Reply
  • Dewayne Chriswell 19th July 2011, 6:03 PM

    Great tip on dealing with isolation. I’ll take the time to hit a local pub equipped with Wi/Fi on occassion to see a few folks, but still get some work done. The change of enviornment does some good, and it surprisingly reduces the amount of distractions.

    Reply
  • Las Vegas Plumbing 19th July 2011, 10:21 AM

    After working for years in offices and buildings, working from home is a dream come true. There are definitely issues with interruptions and the doing home chores, but in the end I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Reply
  • How to sell with persuasive sales tools 19th July 2011, 10:06 AM

    Clare, this is a great list of things to avoid when starting a business from home the eco-friendly way.
    Scott Sylvan Bell

    Reply
  • Kevin Bettencourt 19th July 2011, 6:01 AM

    Not getting work done? Hmm… you don’t say. I’ve actually decided that because I work from home frequently I ignore my home office completely 3 days a week. One of which I give the day to my self. The other 2 are all about home improvement and chores. My work from home problems become successes because I merely set no schedule.

    Reply
  • […] More?  Common problems for home offices –  and their solutions. […]

  • John Moulder says:

    Home office’s will become the future for a lot of the population in the future . You do have to work at it though as you have discussed Clare .

  • Dewayne Chriswell says:

    Great tip on dealing with isolation. I’ll take the time to hit a local pub equipped with Wi/Fi on occassion to see a few folks, but still get some work done. The change of enviornment does some good, and it surprisingly reduces the amount of distractions.

  • Las Vegas Plumbing says:

    After working for years in offices and buildings, working from home is a dream come true. There are definitely issues with interruptions and the doing home chores, but in the end I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • How to sell with persuasive sales tools says:

    Clare, this is a great list of things to avoid when starting a business from home the eco-friendly way.
    Scott Sylvan Bell

  • Kevin Bettencourt says:

    Not getting work done? Hmm… you don’t say. I’ve actually decided that because I work from home frequently I ignore my home office completely 3 days a week. One of which I give the day to my self. The other 2 are all about home improvement and chores. My work from home problems become successes because I merely set no schedule.