“Working from home – good or bad?”
I started working for myself from home in August 2015, it wasn’t a conscious decision it kind of just happened when my previous company ceased trading. Fast forward to now and I don’t think I could go back to working in an office.
I love the fact that I’ve got my weekends back. I used to spend my weekends picking up drying cleaning, frantically trying to get all the laundry washed and dried, collecting parcels from far flung warehouses when delivery had been attempted during the week when nobody was home and a whole host of other things that were neglected when I worked in an office with an hour commute each way. All of these things just seem to happen now, a spare 10 minutes before a client calls means I can hang out the washing, I’m always here when the post is delivered (in fact I’m turning into a delivery depot for my neighbour’s parcels!).
I love that instead of walking up and down a dreary high street during my lunch hour, I can now walk in open fields.
I love that I can now use the local Post Office rather than having to use the main branch in town. There is a sense of community, I’m welcomed by name and it’s a good opportunity to catch up with local goings-on.
I love that I’m my own master. If I want to take the afternoon off, I can. I might have to work at the weekend to make up time, but that’s my decision.
I love the people I’ve met through networking. When I worked in an office, there was never time to get out to networking events, there was always something more important that needed attention. Now I’m able to devote my own time to getting out and meeting people.
I love that I don’t have to sit in traffic anymore, no more commute. I’ve gained 2 hours a day. That’s 10 hours a week. 40 hours a month. That’s a whole working week!!!
I originally headed this next section “What don’t I like” but then realised there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like, so it’s evolved into a “what do I miss about working in a team”.
I do miss the office banter. No-one to say “OMG did you see that on TV last night?!” No-one to alert you to the face that the shop over the road are selling Malteser Bunnies at 5 for a £1. No Friday Chips For Lunch Days.
I also miss the support, the fact that there was a room full of people who you could run ideas past, or ask to help with a problem, or who could answer your phone if you needed time without a distraction. I still have a network of people I can call on, but they aren’t here beside me all day every day. And it has taken some time to get used to that.
I miss the Christmas Party. For 18 years, we went out for lunch on the last working day before Christmas Eve, we’d have mince pies at 11am, fizz at 12, and out for lunch at 1pm. Some years were more lively than others, but we’d always have a great time and we were always safe in the knowledge that by the time we came back to work in the New Year most of the antics would be forgotten.
So yes I miss my colleagues, but the freedom I’ve got to schedule my work around the rest of my life is amazing. It’s a great feeling.