Working from home is the American dream for many -- but it can quickly turn into a nightmare. Simply put, not everyone is cut out for telecommuting, working from home, or virtual offices -- and that's okay. Just because something sounds appealing doesn't mean you have the compartmentalization skills necessary to balance work and life in the same landscape.
This is one issue you don't want to push.
The good news is that there are options like hot desking, shared business space, and even working from your local coffee shop. As an entrepreneur, the trick is finding an environment that's best for you -- and where you're most productive. Have you been trying to force yourself to be a work-from-home entrepreneur? If so, here are a few signs that it's just not going to happen:
- You're a procrastinator
If this describes you, you know it (your grammar school teachers probably commented on it). If you're prone to putting things off and have to
finish Boy Meets World
on syndication each morning before starting your work, you're setting yourself up for failure. Procrastinators usually need a little more structure and separation of work and home. This will also lead to a lot faster client burnout
- You're a multi-tasker
The good news is that studies are finally showing that multi-tasking is impossible and leads to poor results all around
-- the bad news is that a lot of people still try to do it. If you find yourself folding laundry while simultaneously trying to have a conference call, you're in trouble. Your home has a lot of work waiting for you, but so does your job. You need to be able to set aside time for each (without it overlapping).
- You get distracted
Surely work can wait while you organize your spice rack just this once, right? Wrong.
If distractions are a problem for you, working from home just might be too tempting. Granted, there are some people who can honestly do their best work with the television on mute, but for many they'll get caught up in the latest mid-day soap drama. Distractions will destroy your business and your home is full of them.
Do you realize that the average person will leave your website in 400 milliseconds of time? This is shorter than it takes a person to blink. You only have so long to attract the attention of your customer, if you miss this opportunity your customer will leave and never come back.
- You can't remember the last time you saw daylight
On the other end of the spectrum, there are entrepreneurs who need to leave the home in order to get a reality check. You still need to take breaks, schedule time to work out, stretch and get some fresh air even as an entrepreneur. If you hole up in your house, it doesn't really matter if you're making $1,000+ per day when you've become a hermit. Forcing yourself to "go to work" can help keep you balanced.
If you think working from home works for you, count yourself lucky and don't force yourself to get an office "just because". Working from home has many benefits, and if you're fortunate enough to be able to swing it, more power to you. Just make sure your work, home life, and health are equally cared for along the way.