Is working from home a good thing ? Sounds like an easy enough question. There are many different angles to come at this question though. It’s not for everyone. Over the course of the next few articles I’ll try to give you some different perspectives, as only Twack can, into whether or not working from home is a good thing. This might well turn into a two or possibly three part mini-series or more, oh my. Mainly because the more I thought about it, the more pros’ and cons’ I came up with. There are plenty of pros’s, good stuff and bonuses. At the same time there are plenty of cons, bad stuff and unknowns.
Whoever it was that created the idiom “Be careful what you wish for” was a pretty shrew dude. Saying that, being your own boss and or working from home could be one of the best decisions you ever make, or the worst. I was originally going to write about all the good stuff and then the bad but I’ll just see where we go from the start. Let’s face it, no one wants to spend half an hour reading sad/bad stuff, so I might sprinkle a bit of both all the way through.
How Does Your Day Start ?
If I could make the sound of the alarm clock going off I would but I can’t so you’ll just have to imagine the harsh, shrill sound of an electrically generated ‘wake up’ noise piercing through your blissful early morning dream. You woke about two hours ago and needing to go to the loo and then went back to bed. The next segment of your night always seems to be heavier and filled with those vivid dreams, the ones that ironically tire you rather than refresh.
Up and at it. Your window of opportunity is now set to ‘countdown’ It’s 6.00am and you have one and a half hours to be at work, bright-eyed, bushy tailed, with a smile and a positive demeanour. We’ll see. As you make your way to the bathroom, treading on a discarded toy (or a hairbrush depending on your marital and/.or family status). Feeling the rush of ‘red mist’ you manage to stifle a shriek and move on. Checking through the curtains on route you are not surprised to see that it is raining. Deep Joy.
Why is it that we only realise that the is no toilet paper after we have assumed the position. Needless to say, a bizarre sequence of trying to get across the bathroom to retrieve a fresh roll ensues, just adding to a diminishing amount of good humour. Without going through the gory details of our normal personal hygiene routine I will skip to the part where you now have to navigate the dressing ritual without waking you partner/ spouse and any other family members. That done you can safely make you way downstairs, avoiding obstacles that now live on the stairs as opposed to being in their rightful places, in rooms. Your internal stopwatch has now gone into overdrive and there is approximately and hour remaining before you should be sat at your desk, cheerful and keen to fulfill your duties.
Breakfast Of Champions.
The modern family of today operates on a different set of rules than of a few generations ago. Times and attitudes have changed and for the most part the early morning riser is not normally one gender or another. House wives and househusbands share the duties and in many cases it is a mutually accepted role. Many households will operate ‘self-service’. If you’re up first then it’s down to you to get yourself sorted. This is true of myself. I am a fully qualified house husband and have been for many years. Back to the ‘unfortunate’ example.
You are now fully dressed and ready for the most important meal of the day. This one normally be a bowl of cereal and some toast, washed down with a mug of tea of coffee. Depending on how healthy you like to think you are, that may well be a fibrous bowl of cereal and a round or two of multi-seeded toast. Beverage of choice could well be chamomile or caffeine free coffee. Two of those aren’t happening today as there is no milk in the fridge and only the crusts left in the bread bin. Sigh.
You make the best of a bad situation, eat what you can and get your stuff together ready to make your journey to work.
Getting Out Of The Door.
As a ‘sidebar’, may I just add, that my own family has an issue with this part. Now I know that this is genetic and comes most definitely from my wife’s side. When ‘in-laws’ have been visiting and the time comes to depart, it is not uncommon for the ‘goodbyes’ to take an indeterminate amount of time. From the first ‘Bye, see you later’ to the point of actually leaving the house can take anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes. If, you are not of this ilk then the next half an hour will be efficient and well-organised. If, you are of that persuasion then half an hour will never be enough time to prepare to leave the house.
Ever wish You weren’t Eco-friendly
That’s right, today is one of those days you wished you could compromise your own belief system. In the house you do your bit. Recycle where you can. Use plenty of products that are co-friendly and generally try to lice your life in a more ‘green’ way. Outside of the house, you have carried this on by choosing to cycle to work. It’s only a twenty-minute ride and it is good for the environment and good for your health. Win win.
Except today, of course, it is raining and as my mother-in-law says, ‘Looks like it’s set in’ No point in waiting five minutes to see if it eases off, it’s here to stay. Waterproof cagoule on, backpack on, helmet on and you’re off. This is not a Sunday afternoon bike ride in a scenic delight. This is a mad dash across town. Going up against cars, vans and lorries who are also eager to arrive at their destinations before the clock strikes 8.30am. It’s not pretty.
Ready To Start Your Day.
After overcoming angry commuters who seem more intent on making you even wetter by spraying you as they speed through puddles, navigating your way around the potholes and narrowly escaping inconsiderate pedestrians who have decided it’s their right of way when it comes to crossing roads, you arrive at your place of work. Yay you.
Diligently you lock you bike and begin to undress as you’re making your way through the entrance doors and up the stairs of the office complex, so you can arrive at your desk, ready to start your work day. Three minutes to spare by your reckoning. Maybe today wasn’t going to be so bad after all. Phew.
“Morning Dave, you good ?. Excellent. Look, er Jamie isn’t in today so I’ll need you to cover her phone as well as yours, alright ? and I’ll need those monthly reports before lunchtime. Great, see you later”
You lean back in your chair and look to the ceiling, wondering whether it’s all really worth it. I mean this is Monday, there’s another five days to go, possibly six, if you’re asked to come in on Saturday. Even if you come through today relatively unscathed, you still have to go through it all again, tomorrow.
Does It Have To Be This Way ?
The above is just the start of your day, we haven’t even mentioned the stroppy phone calls, your boss moving a deadline or the fact that your packed lunch is still sat on the kitchen worktop.
Did I lay it on to thick? Have you just read the above and thought, no that isn’t how it is, or does my little literary excursion actually resonate with you ? Now, for the purposes of this post and possibly the theme of the website I could easily say ‘No it doesn’t have to be this way, there is a better way’ There may well be one. Hundreds of thousands of us have made the decision to move away from the daily grind of the 9 to 5. Be warned though, it ‘s not all a bed of roses but we’ll come to that later.
Maybe I have just described the start of a day you have had more than once and you’re not sure if that’s just your lot. You might think that it’s just the way it is. Work hard, put up with whatever life throws at you. Head up, shoulders back and get on with it.
If you’re on the verge of taking the plunge into the world of self-employment or just being able to negotiate a way of working from home, why not take the time to have a look at an article I wrote about one opportunity you may not want to pass up.
Look out for the next installment where we’ll have a more positive look at how your day might start out. If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to sharing with you again soon.