The topic for #BEDN today is ‘Workplace‘ and so I am focusing this post on starting out in business. When I set up Events Northern Ltd back in 2004 I started out working from home – first from a desk under the stairs and then from the spare room. It made perfect sense not to burden a new company with excessive overheads and also ensured maximum productivity – no time wasted in travelling to and from work and no worries about working till all hours and then walking home alone afterwards.
It was however great when we did start renting an office to separate home and work life again. When I worked from a home office it did feel almost like you never switched off (if indeed running your own company you ever can truly switch off?!). Even if the phone rang at the weekend or well after hours with a home office there was always the temptation to go back into work mode and answer or otherwise be wondering who the call was from anyway! If that same phone was ringing in your external office somewhere you wouldn’t necessarily even know it had rung until official office hours the next day.
When people discovered I worked from home back in the early days people were
intrigued and often asked “how do you get any work done with all the distractions like daytime TV and housework?” and “do you work in your pyjamas?” I found this regular line of questioning bizarre and basically insulting! No I have never worked in my pyjamas and no working from home is not an extended weekend to get your chores done or watch Jeremy Kyle! I realised however that it did show the complete lack of understanding most people have about setting up and running a company and reveal a lot about what some people consider “working from home.” I can tell you it is a hell of a lot of hard work starting up in business and in my experience involves working very long hours! Plus when you have your own company or are self employed it is up to you to pay the bills and the wages, no-one else, which is perhaps the biggest motivator. Above all though – is daytime TV actually that good?!
Do you work from home or did you start up your business working from home like we did? Do you find it difficult to switch off at the end of the working day? Or do you find it hard to focus with so many household distractions all around you? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!