As a mother, there are many reasons I enjoy working from home, like the ability to make my own hours and spend more time with my family. However, there are also disadvantages of working from home which can make this field of work very challenging. We will be discussing seven of these obstacles and ways you can overcome them.
1. Balancing Work Life vs Family Life
Being a mother and having to balance the attention of your family and work outside the home can be difficult enough but when you work at home this can be even more challenging. Your children’s demand for your attention seems to be a 24-hour service.
So your family needs to understand the importance of your work schedule and when you are unavailable to attend to them. This is often something that is difficult to explain to your smaller children.
Having a home office in a separate part of the home is very important, especially one where you can shut the door when necessary. In some situations, you may be able to use this separate workspace as a tax deduction.
If you have small children you will more than likely need to hire the services of a nanny. Also, pets need their own designated area away from your home office.
2. Household Noises
Even with a dedicated workspace, sometimes a noisy household can be a major barrier for those working at home. The sound of the television, dishwasher, washing machine, baby crying, or even the dog barking, can make it hard to concentrate.
With a poorly insulated home, you can still hear these noises through your home office and it would make your business calls look very unprofessional. So you want to make sure to soundproof your home office and make sure your family understands to keep the noises down during your business hours.
While working from home gives you more freedom and flexibility, with this newfound freedom comes the responsibility of making your own work routines.
When you are in a traditional work environment you are paid for your efforts and you have quotas to meet. You can’t afford to mess up or waste time. This is often what drives or doesn’t drive your work ethics.
When you work from home you have to manage your own time and what you make is reliant on what you produce.
Therefore, you must be sure you create a consistent work schedule with specific hours and write down all your business goals. That designated office space somewhere quiet can help you stay focused.
Isolation has been known to have negative effects on your mental health and cause long term damage such as stress and depression. So working from home and dealing with the constant lack of social interaction can be draining to one’s energy.
Plus, you are not feeding off the creativity and energy of others which will make it harder for you to stay motivated.
Sure you can talk to people through social media and email but it is nothing like face to face contact and interaction.
The way to get around this is to get out and go to libraries, cafes, gyms, or have lunch with friends/family. Anywhere you can get that human contact and social interaction. It will help you relieve some stress as well.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home for me has been my ability to concentrate. Between the noises, in the home, I mentioned above and the inability to stay motivated, it can often be hard to stay focused.
The slightest thing can distract you.
I like to play relaxing lyricless music on my Alexa when I get distracted. It helps me relax and I can get back into focus.
As long as I stay in my dedicated workspace and stick to my work schedule I can usually get back into my groove.
6. Business Phone Interruptions
When you are on the phone it is normal to be distracted by one person or another but when you are on a business call it is a bit more unacceptable when your child runs in and you are in the middle of a business deal. Business phone interruptions are one of the biggest issues most work at home parents receive and for good reason.
Whether it is children, family, or pets, there are plenty of things in your home that could easily disturb you during a phone call.
So again these interruptions are mainly reliant on whether you have a dedicated place to make these calls and whether your family is aware of your unavailability.
7. Lack of Proper Equipment
The ability to work from home at an optimal performance relies on the proper equipment. For most remote workers or those first starting off working from home, they may not have the money to invest in these items.
Therefore, work is often done from their couches or at the kitchen table. This means the above obstacles such as family distractions, noises, and interruptions, are even more apparent.
It is important to find a way to take the time to make a dedicated workspace as soon as possible to ensure you eliminate all of the work from home distractions which can add unneeded stresses. For inexpensive office furniture click here
As you can see, working from home has its ups and downs. The best way to get around these disadvantages is to create an environment that will allow you to function in a way that is as business mannered as possible.
This means you will need to find an area in your home that you can call your own and purchase the proper equipment. You will want to make sure you create a work schedule to fit around your family the eliminate as many interruptions as possible to help keep you motivated.
Help your children, significant other, and family members, understand as best as possible the importance of your schedule and when you are and aren’t available to attend to them.
We Want to Hear From You: What are your biggest work-from-home disadvantages? What advice do you have for other work from home moms and dads trying to avoid these difficulties?