What YOU say about Home-Working

Phil Birch

Birch Business IQ

Shona Penfold
Internet Marketing Consultant at Dynamic WSI Design
The advantages to working from home range from the ability to work around all the responsibilities in one’s life to being accountable to yourself only – but these are the disadvantages too! The big minus is trying to keep the focus on work and not being in a team who know what you are contributing, but the big plus is being able to get out and enjoy the sun/watch the football/work at the best time for me! There was a piece in the paper this week about the need to spend less time in front of the PC in order to ensure maximum productivity and I have found that by not going near my PC at weekends I am more effective during the week!

Nikki Bartlett
Learning and Development Director at Zest Learning Ltd
The advantages for me include greater flexibility in my life, being able to crack on with work without being interrupted by others, deciding what the priorities are dependant on client needs and being able to go to sports day! The disadvantages are as a classic Myers Briggs extravert I lack stimulation through conversation with others (although the telephone helps!). Being able to bounce ideas of other people, feeling truly part of something, I miss a sense of belonging.
All that said I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Barbara Matheson
Counsellor, Management Coach, Mentor and Trainer
I too love my home working arrangement for all the reasons mentioned by others, but like Nikki I’m a Myers Briggs extravert, and have over my 20 years of self employment have developed a strategy for making sure I get the sense of belonging and stimulation I need. I find that if I spend too long in my home office my batteries get very low! I’ve learned to be a good networker, face to face not just on here. I’m currently Chair of the Women in Management Network in Scotland; a role that gets me out and about meeting people I wouldn’t have connected with in any other way.
Enjoy the sunshine!

Karen Purves
Relationship Marketing, Social Media, Effective Marketing for Small Businesses who want to grow with the times
Having worked from home for 20 years, last year I moved into offices. And, the whole experience has been liberating. I no longer meet prospects in meeting rooms, hotel lounges or coffee shops unless they request it. The effect it has had on my conversion has been spectacular! Also, I have networked with other business owners and have gained suppliers and clients.

And, I don’t work all the time. I walk past the room (at home) that used to be my office and there is no tugging …. “I’m here, there’s unfinished work to do” But, it’s not all sunshine! I do miss being able to take advantage of the sunshine and take the dogs for a walk in between activities and appointments. I miss the birdsong from the garden and, the chores don’t get done while I am thinking – lol!
Will I return to working from home? Not in the near future
Just for the record, re Myers Briggs, I have only slight extraversion

Andrew W. Cox
Consultant at Energy Intelligence & Marketing Research
I enjoy working from home – but I have to be disciplined and set goals and priorities for each day/week. Also having telephone calls, emails and occasional meetings can break up the tedium and ensure you keep in touch with colleagues, clients, etc. I have been working from home since the early 1990s. With improved technologies I find it is easier now than ever before.

Margot Grantham
Turning business ideas into business success at WDGResearch and The Athena Network
From all the above comments it sounds like the pros far outweigh the cons, but discipline is the keyword. I have been working from two homes for the last 4 years using both as a base to manage The Athena Network Edinburgh business and my market research business WDG. The home where my teenage family resides in Buckinghamshire is chaotic – particularly during school holidays when the exasperated plea “I am working!” falls on deaf ears, It is not only myself requiring discipline. In Kinross however I have the place to myself, I can work from any room for as long as I like. Any mess is my mess, there is no feeding frenzy, and I can watch football or not.

The downside is that the parameters of my working day in Kinross are not clearly defined and I have yet to acquire the discipline to say ‘enough is enough, time to clock off’. In England my working day is defined by end of school run at 9am and the start of evening meal and family time from 5pm. The curious thing is, I get an equal amount of work done in both locations. Pros and cons, pros and cons!

Maxine Hayter
Company Director at Bespoke Blinds & Poles Ltd
In a past career, I worked from home. I now run my own business from a showroom. I have experienced all the comments above- good and bad!
Personally speaking:
Pros= flexi-time, relaxed atmosphere, lack of interruptions,
Cons= no cut-off point (16 hour days with no breaks not unusual), easily distracted, guilt (I was very aware that some family and friends thought it wasn’t real work), weight gain (I wasn’t getting up and going any where)

Working from home requires a structured day in exactly the same way that a corporate company does; breaks, targets, to-do lists, time management. If you can achieve all this at home, fantastic. If not, it will overwhelm you.
It taught me that I need to “go” to work, which is what we did when we started our own business.

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