Working From Home

In 1990’s it was called Telecommuting. Companies dipped their toes into the pond of flexible work arrangements. Many managers were cynical that staff would actually WORK while based at home. How could managers keep track of what employees were doing with their time?

It’s hard to imagine this way of thinking when we now see coffee shops offering free Wi-Fi so patrons can stay, check their phones and work. Companies now encourage working from home, cafes or co-working spaces. It saves office space, cuts down on absenteeism and makes employees happier. Employees like the flexibility that teleworking brings. Buffer- an open blog reports that of 2,000 employees surveyed 43% gave flexibility as the thing they most liked about working from home.15% said it gave them extra time to spend with their family.

Remote work was initially only an option in telesales and marketing but as Stacey Epstein CEO of ZINC says, “these types of workers span multiple industries now.”

For older people working from home is now is available for writers and editors, translators, tutors, therapists, sales people, music teacher, life and business coaches,  freelance agents and many other roles.

For retirees some part time work based at home is an attractive proposition. The benefits are that

  • You can create a working space that suits your personal needs and the type of work you are doing e.g. working in cafe may suit you better than creating a home office
  • The results are what counts so you can adjust the hours to best fit with your lifestyle
  • You can earn some income without spending money and time on commuting

In the late 1990’s and after a busy executive career in consulting in the telecoms and finance industries, I decided to set up my own consulting business based in my home office but travelling to client sites to provide coaching and consulting services. I did this for 20 years and loved working in my own business.  In starting VIVA 70 I’m again spending 4-6 days working on the online magazine. A month in, I’m having to remember these things.

  • Plan your day- I sit at my computer a lot! So now I have the one hour rule. Each day has to have at least one hour of exercise, one hour of gardening, one hour of socialising or connecting with friends and family, one hour of eating undisturbed and not distracted by media. The rest can be working and sleeping etc.
  • Find the space where you feel comfortable working. I have a study but my work is done at the long dining table in the living room. I overlook the garden and see the clouds and the light is good. I can spread out all my papers and prop the whiteboard on a chair next to me. But every Friday I put it all away in the study so my living room can be restored to a place of calm and playfulness.
  • Stand up and work at the computer… I move the lap top to my kitchen bench and work there for at least 2 hours a day…no more backache!
  • Connect with others to feed your need for sociability. I’m meeting a group of bloggers once a week at a local café just to share ideas and chat about what we’re all doing- invaluable!

Are you currently working from home? Have you ever had this experience in your working life? What was it like? Did you miss anything about not being office based? Please leave your comments below and let’s have a conversation.

21 February 2019 | Living Well

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