A Day in the Life of Working From Home
Have you ever dreamed about giving up the desk job and starting your own freelance or portfolio career from the kitchen table? If you have, we can see why. When you’ve spent your career battling a daily commute to work in an office, working from home can sound idyllic.
Here’s a few things you might not know:
- A record breaking 4.2 million people now work from home in the UK.
- Home working is more common among older workers: 1 in 5 working people over 55 regularly work from home.
- It’s been suggested that home workers typically work 5 to 7 more hours per week than their office-based counterparts.
But what’s it really like?
We’ve put together a real-life look at what it’s like to work from home: warts and all!
The early morning family routine is very similar whether or not you work from home. It can feel like a relay race to get everyone washed, dressed and ready for school while still managing to sit down to eat breakfast as a family. What is special when you’re a work from home parent is that you can build the start of your working day in around the school run. It’s a great feeling to be able to wave the kids off at the school gate.
Once class has started it’s usually a brisk walk home to clear away the breakfast dishes and do any household chores that are needed, whether that’s washing, a quick bathroom clean or a rush round with the vacuum. If exercise is part of your daily routine, you might want to fit in a quick burst of running or yoga here to really set your mind and body up for the day.
When that’s all taken care of it’s down to work until lunchtime. This is usually a focused two or three hours of emails, client projects, conference calls, diary management, accounts and marketing. The morning can be a very productive time, so it’ll probably fly by in a haze of getting-stuff-done, only broken by a quick cup of tea and perhaps opening the door to the postman, delivery man and the odd bunch of flowers!
Lunch time can be very enjoyable for those who work from home. During the summer it can be a relaxing twenty minute break in the garden with a cold drink and last night’s tasty leftovers. Once you’ve refreshed your batteries it’ll be back to work for an hour and a half to check emails and social media, finish off any tasks from the morning, and take a handful of client calls.
The afternoon often feels very short as by three o’clock the school pick up will be looming! Another quick walk in the fresh air to pick them up, possibly accompanied by a client call on the way. You might even take a detour via the park on the way home to make sure the dog gets a good run.
Back at home you’ll want to spend a well-earned half an hour with the children. They’ll have lots to talk about after a busy day at school. Depending on what day of the week it is you may need to ferry them across town to various after school clubs. You’ll also need to fit in preparing dinner, tidying up and finishing off any incomplete work tasks in between drop off and pick up time.
At some point during the evening your partner will arrive home which will take the pressure off you a bit. Time to enjoy a healthy family dinner, followed by a bit of homework help. In no time at all it’ll be time to start the kids’ bedtime routine. After bath time, story time and cuddle time, you’ll be rewarded with a glass of wine and a much-needed sit down!
During the last couple of hours of the day you’ll want to fit in quality time with your partner, a bit of TV time and some light reading as well as a last check of your emails and fifteen minute’s preparation for tomorrow’s working day. Then to bed, just in time to start it all over again bright and early the next day…
As you might have gathered, one of the key realities of working from home is that there is much less separation between work and play. Though this can be a good thing, it also makes it harder to shut off at 5pm as you would in a more traditional office environment.
Successful home workers have to find a balance between managing ‘life admin’ and housework during the day while still maintaining the motivation to do a full day’s work. Sometimes that means having the discipline to walk away from an overflowing washing basket or leave the doorbell unanswered!
Many of us find that the benefits of working from home well exceed these downsides. Having the freedom to set your own schedule, fine tune your breaks, start and finish when your choose, and spend more time with your family can make it all worthwhile.
Could working from home work for you? Download our free report to find out if we could help you make this a reality.
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