With the costs of living, particularly childcare, going through the roof, it is hardly surprising to find more and more parents working from home. Everyday I’m learning and hearing about people who are managing their work / life (and financial) balance by taking the jump and starting a business, often from their own homes.
Advancement in technology and the breadth of information at our fingertips has made it very easy for anyone to jump on a computer, register an ABN and start a business from the comfort of their living room. There are nearly one million people across Australia running a business from home.
The increase in people working from home as an employee of a company, not just on their own business, is also evident. Once again our ‘connectability’ has made this possible and in Lake Macquarie, we are experiencing an influx of Sydney-siders moving our way to enjoy lower house prices and the benefits of working remotely.
Working from home is not for everyone
Having owned a small business and working as a consultant, I can relate to the pros and cons of working from home. Hey if you want to, you can work in your PJ’s. Not that I would recommend that.
Towards the end of my consultancy days I soon realised that due to my experience with sport, I needed to work with and lead a team, in an environment where we work towards common goals.
That’s why I love working in a Business Incubator, helping business owners to get a head start, overcoming their fears, providing some answers or guiding them towards others.
A workplace, be it an incubator, an office or a business hub, can be a place where ideas meet. A place where people can connect and learn from each other.
This sort of personal and valuable advice is not as readily available when you are at home, often on your own, with only Google as your advisor.
If working from home is for you, what do you need to succeed?
Despite some articles suggesting that Business Plans are unnecessary, I fundamentally believe they provide a direction and instil behaviours around things such as time management, financial management and importantly risk management.
If you are working from home you can soon be absorbed by chores, expectations from your partner, children and the needs of your pets. In my opinion there is no way you can create a sustainable business without a well-thought-out plan.
There are also a number of considerations and actions to consider to help ensure you have a happy home working life:
- Separate your work time from your downtime – having a completely separate room as your office is a great way to make a distinction between your working space and your personal after-hours space
- When you step into your home office, behave the same way you would if you were working as part of a company
- Make sure your home office is comfortable, temperature-controlled and that it has lots of good light
- Avoid meeting clients at your home office, at least for the first time – invite them to meet you at a local coffee shop instead
- Dress like you’re going to work – you’re more likely to work professionally if you’re dressed for it, instead of sitting at your desk in your pyjamas!
I take my hat off to all the parents out there that juggle both, but for me it made more sense to work in a village like environment, celebrating the achievements of the tenants and the team and acknowledging the work we do to improve the community we live in.
If you would like to join our community, check out the information on our Business Incubator. Our Business Incubator is the perfect compromise between a home office and a proper commercial lease. It can help you to separate work from home, to focus, to manage your time, to connect; all while receiving business advice in a village type atmosphere.