Is working form home the dream?

It can be hard to explain what I do for a living at the best of times.  I’m a stay at home Mum and I’m a working Mum.  There doesn’t seem to be a box for both!

There are definite pro’s and cons to working from home as opposed to working in an office.

Commute

My commute is as simple as rolling out of bed.  Well kind of.  I have to actually commute the kids to school first.  And some days I would much rather be sat in traffic listening to music of my choice than I would be carrying all the bags and shouting “mind the dog poo” whilst geeing the kids along.  

working from home

Working from home vs office work: Draw

Workwear

Honestly, my preferred choice of work-wear is PJ’s.  And I can!  

Working from home vs office work: Win for working from home

Flexibility

The main reason I didn’t go back to office work and became self employed was for the flexibility it gave us concerning the kids.  I do the school runs, I can go to the assemblies, If one of them is sick, I am around to take care of them.  In reality these things involve a lot of juggling and late nights working.  But I don’t have anyone judging me because I have to leave the office early for parent’s evening, and I don’t need to use annual leave to attend sports day.

I could really rant and rave about the cost of child care in this country.  Combine that with that fact that the vast majority of companies provide very limited flexible working, it makes life very difficult for parents.  The majority of my friends changed careers after having kids so they could get the flexibility they needed.  But it does beg the question, why don’t the companies change instead?

working from home

Working from home vs office work: Win for working from home

Hard to switch off

Working from home can mean it’s hard o switch off.  It’s hard to switch off from the home stuff.  I can see the laundry that needs doing.  Maybe I should just nip downstairs and prep dinner, or run the hoover around.  But equally it’s hard to switch off from the work stuff.  I should really go to bed but maybe I should just answer that email and edit those photos.

Working from home vs office work: Win for office work

Home Office

I get to choose my own furniture and my own stationery, which is always much prettier than standard office stationery.  And if I want Gilmore Girls on in the background whilst I work, I can!

Plus I get to control the temperature setting!

You can check out a great range of office furniture at Furniture At Work

working from home
And if you look closely you can even see where Little has been practising the letter ‘m’ on my note pad!

Working from home vs office work: Win for working from home

Lonely

One of the definite downsides to being my own boss and working from home is it can be lonely.  Most of my communication is done over emails, so some days I don’t speak to another adult until the husband gets home, or I can chew one of the other Mum’s ear off in the playground in a desperate bid for some social contact!  I miss the office banter.  I miss the Christmas do.

Plus trying to make a ‘professional’ call at home can be tough when your three year old insists on saying hello to your client.  True story.

Working from home vs office work: Win for office work

IT problems

No IT help desk here.  And I really needed one this morning when I was about to throw my computer out of the window for not playing ball.  I did the turn it off and back on again thing, and when that doesn’t work, that’s it.  I’m all out of ideas.

Working from home vs office work: Win for office work

Politics

No office politics here.  And I really don’t miss those.  My first ever boss was a bit of a David Brent.  Only not so funny.  I was young and naive and didn’t know any better.  But office politics and bad bosses can really effect your confidence and career prospects.  I did learn from my bad experiences, but at the time it’s pretty horrible to go through.

Working from home vs office work: Win for working from home

So the final scores…

Working from home = 4

Office work = 3

I do miss certain things about working in an office, but ultimately you can’t beat being able to work in your PJ’s!

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Claire Kirby

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