Back in the days life was about convenience, and it was normal for shoemakers, for example, to live right above their store. Homes and workplaces were often connected. With the globalization, suburban migration and cities growth, people started to buy cars and to commute from home to work and back home. For workers it was important that home was home and work was work in order to keep the work/life balance.
But in today’s fast changing world, that old model is coming back. With jobs disappearing, unemployment rates rising and budgets shrinking, working from home or self-employment is one of the new trends. After all, home is a cost-effective place to launch a business.
More and more people are turning away from the so-called “work/life balance” and swaping it for “Work/life integration.” It has become much more important to integrate work into our everyday lives. Thanks to phones and the internet, moving work around on dimensions of time and space has become normal.
Working from home has many advantages…
Wouldn’t it be great to wake up in the morning and just stumble down the hallway to work? Better than rushing to get ready to commute hours to work while getting stuck in traffic, right?
People love flexibility and working and living in the same space will give them all the flexibility they want. Are you more productive at 3am? Do you hate that you need to get up everyday super early? Squeezing in that uncomfortable uniform to get to work before peak hour? Do you feel like you are not spending enough time with your loved ones? Maybe because as soon as you get home from work they already need to go to bed? Do you know the feeling when you are just sitting in the office waiting for that clock to hit 6pm?
Working from home could solve all these issues and help you to organize your time useful. It allows you to take care of personal errands when it is is most efficient. For example, you can do groceries on a weekday rather than during the weekend when the shops are packed; You can bring your kids to school at 9am; You can make doctors appointments with flexibility…
Especially for individuals who have kids, working and living in the same place is great because it allows them to integrate work and their personal life and enables especially mums to stay in the work force.
Having this flexibility to organize your own workload, you will be able to spend much more quality time with your family, friends or pets. And you can easily make up that lost work time on evenings or weekends when your kids are at a school trip or sleeping because your office is in your home!
But of course it is not all butterflies and rainbows
Working in the same place where you are living can have its difficulties. Having all these personal to-dos available also provides material to procrastinate. You were just about to get started on this new Marketing Project but then you see that one of your nails chipped or you just realized you haven’t called your best friend in a while. It becomes very easy to say ‘no worries, I will do the Project right after i finished my personal stuff’.
Another issue which could occur is that you might not set your limits. When working from home you do not have a normal Monday to Friday 9.00-18.00 week and you need to have great time management skills to not over or underwork.
The 5 tips and Tricks to balance it all:
If you decided to go for telecommuting, do not worry! Here you are a couple tips to get the balance right:
- Get out of your pyjamas and get dressed, this will help you to get in the right frame of mind.
- Organize yourself a work plan with objectives you would like to reach and by when you want to reach them. Trust me, you will never fall behind.
- Set up your personal working area, so you can focus better and won’t get distracted by the TV or the kids playing in the neighbor’s garden.
- Keep an eye on your actual working time and do not forget to take breaks.
- Keep your place organized and clean: this will help you stay positive and not get cluttered with your workload.