When you start to work from home, the distractions are often the things most people talk about. They ask if you end up doing house work (as if!) or watching TV – have you ever watched Daytime TV?! – no thanks.
In reality, the biggest problem for a lot of people working from home isn’t the distractions it’s the isolation.
When I started working from home I was still employed by a company. There was a lot of personal issues going on and suddenly being home-alone was a weight on my already heavy shoulders. During that time, taking one day a week to work at a colleagues house became a life line for me.
By the time I was working on my own business, I knew I needed to keep some contact with the rest of the world and for the early part of my time I worked part-time as a cleaner to support myself and my son. This also gave me the chance to get out of the house and spend time with other people so there wasn’t a sense of isolation.
When I no longer needed that job I set up my schedule to include time out of the house, this may be to meet clients and friends or it may simply be to be in a public space whilst I do some work. At least once a week I will be out of the house with people.
In addition to carrying out your work alone, being at home means you miss a lot of the traditional “water cooler” moments such as talking about the latest TV show. Having messaging apps allows me to dip in and out of chats with my friends (a lot of who also work from home) and chat about nonsense for a little while.
Finally, being an entrepreneur, or sole trader, or working on anything on your own, falls very much into the category of “lonely at the top”. Few people discuss the problems, the trails, and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, the mistakes and the toe-curling times we get things horrifically embarrassingly wrong. This is where networking with other entrepreneurs comes in, be it face-to-face or in online groups and communities. If you haven’t found one you resonate with, you can create your own.
And remember, the more we raise people up, the more company we will have at the top.