Is Working From Home for You?
Working from home as a Marketing Consultant sounds great, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Here is a list of observations and questions to ask yourself to help you decide if you feel working from home is a good fit for you:
- Are you introverted or extroverted? Either can work, just be aware that if you are highly extroverted you may find working from home quite isolating. Ways to work around that are to schedule regular out of office meetings and networking events, make sure you build out of office time into your weekly routine including going to the gym or social activities. You can also engage a mentor or advisor and schedule regular face-to-face or video conferences. Schedule video conferences or Skype calls with clients or team members – sometimes just seeing someone else is just as good as being in the same physical location.
- Do you like to bounce ideas off people? If so, working from home could be challenging unless you have people you can call on at the drop of a hat to bounce an idea off. We use Skype chat or our Project Management system to liaise between meetings. If you’re the kind of person who likes to brainstorm and bounce ideas face-to-face you may find working virtually is a bit challenging.
- Do you get easily distracted? If so, working from home is going to require a lot of discipline on your behalf. I’ve never found working from home a distraction because I’ve always treated my work as my career. My working day generally starts at 8am and finishes at 4.30pm (unless I schedule other things – one of my reasons for working from home is to have flexibility and freedom). I use my diary to schedule all work and appointments (personal and work related) which doesn’t leave time to be distracted. When I’m at my desk, I know what I need to get done. I never had a TV or housework to do at my employed jobs so why would I consider them part of my current working day?
- Can you leave work at the office? Working from home has an added challenge of tempting people to bring work into their home life. When I enter the office, I close the door to the rest of the house and focus on work. When I leave the office I close the door and I’m at home, focused on family and general life happenings. Ok sometimes I’m tempted to go back into the office, but that’s not so easy with two little people around.
- Do you have space to work from home? I believe it’s important to have a separate office space if you possibly can. That way you aren’t distracted by general life, family, interruptions, housework… You can also close the door and leave work neatly where it belongs, organised for the next day. No need to pack up the work on the kitchen table.
- Do you need to wind down from work? If yes, and you’re used to a commute, perhaps find an alternative distraction to bridge the space between work and home. You could go for a run or walk, go to the gym, visit a friend…
- Do you need to be in business attire to feel you’re at work? This is kind of a mute point because if you want to dress in business wear and work from home you can. If you want to wear jandals (yes I’m a Kiwi) and casual wear because it’s comfortable you can. No-one needs to know. Do what works for you.
- Are you self motivated? You need a big ‘Yes’ on this one. If you’re not a self motivator, you may have issues with distractions. Find ways to keep yourself motivated and focused, otherwise working from home won’t be a great experience for you.
- Do you have fast enough internet? If not, then don’t event attempt to work from home. Find a shared working space close by or an office space you can lease on a monthly lease. You will heavily rely on the internet, and a slow speed is frustrating and inefficient. Just on this point, if you’re using a mobile phone as your main mode of telecommunication, you should also make sure you have reasonable phone coverage – it is really frustrating for your clients if they can’t hear you or phone calls keep dropping out.
At the end of the day, you will inherently know if working from home is for you. If you’re thinking about starting a Marketing Consultancy business read these blog posts: Pro’s & Con’s of Marketing Consulting and 8 Great Reasons to Start a Marketing Consultancy. If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and is doing that, I’m more than happy to answer your questions candidly. That’s exactly why we started Consult Me Group. You can make a time with me here.