Running your business from home or remotely?
Running a business from home/remotely is extremely appealing and pretty commonplace these days and is there any wonder? It makes good business sense on several fronts. There are many benefits, but there are also some pitfalls that await the unwary and sadly, it’s often a realisation that hits after you’ve made the momentous decision.
Depending on the nature of your business and the product/service you offer will depend on exactly whether your business also lends itself to working remotely.
Working from remote and distant locations that are outside traditional offices such as home, local coffee shop or even a hotel room is continuing to gain more and more traction thanks to the ever-expanding information technology capabilities.
Each place you work leaves its mark and shapes you in some way. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked in many different environments ranging from luxurious, top-flight corporate offices in the City of London, complete with fancy doorman in a top hat through to run down one room dog boxes, complete with a leaky roof!
Nice offices are a bonus, but as a rule, you really don’t worry too much about the trappings of your surroundings as long as you enjoy your work. The exceptions being when it is stinking hot, freezing cold or the water is dripping from the leaky roof onto your desk!
The most obvious benefit is savings on premises rental. After all, when your office is within your home the cost is part and parcel of paying rent or your mortgage. If you own your own home outright and there is nothing to pay off that’s a bigger bonus.
Increased flexibility is often an added benefit. If you’re a parent, caregiver to someone ill or looking after an aged parent, you can organize and schedule your business commitments around family obligations. That’s what some of our team at Dragon Sisters are doing.
You also save the time you would have spent getting to an office, vehicle running costs and parking fees. Clothing and dry cleaning bills are frequently reduced as you often have a more informal dress code.
Another benefit is that you are not distracted by others. Lack of distractions should mean an increase in your productivity, but it’s easy to get sidetracked if you are not disciplined.
Family and friends need to be educated that you are actually “at work” even though your office is in your home. It often takes quite a bit of effort to get the message across that you cannot be disturbed just because you are at home.
Not everyone thrives on working alone, and unless you have staff coming in to work, you may have very little interaction with others. Some people actually need personal interaction so it’s important to establish a system for connecting and keeping yourself stimulated.
If yours is a business that relies on technology – which mine is – a backup plan is essential! That means using regular, automated backup for all your work, and having a second device to access Skype, internet etc if your computer crashes or the landline goes down.
A word of warning, adopt a routine that includes getting dressed rather than sitting at your desk in your PJ’s all day. You don’t want to get caught short if you have to dash out, someone drops by or an unexpected video call comes in.
Some of us thrive on remote work whilst others really struggle. The bottom line is that it very much depends on the individual, the business and the personalities involved in whether working from home is best for you.
On a personal level, I thoroughly enjoy working remotely with my global team and the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Of course, nothing can beat face to face contact. It’s important to make sure to schedule regular times to get together with others who share a similar work environment, and that you get out and about to network.
Are you working from home? If you’d like to be part of a monthly business support group exclusive for those who work from home drop me a line.
Until next issue…
Michelle Hanton firstname.lastname@example.org 898082
Michelle Hanton OAM is a multi-award winning international business strategist, the founder of Dragons Abreast Australia and former CEO of Lifeline Top End. Her business, Dragon Sisters, specialises in actionable, momentum building support to help move businesses to the next level.