Hurray the sun is shining, what more could I ask for….. Perhaps a proper summer and definitely a full work diary, not constantly worrying about whether I will have enough work next week, my main aim in life is to avoid the Job centre!  Those words are enough to instil panic in me.

I moved to part time freelance working just over 2 years ago, when the changes to income support affected families with children age 7.  Previously I did have a career & after a period abroad fell into a job telemarketing from home.  However, I was made redundant, just as my daughter started school.  My daughter had recently been diagnosed as asthmatic and it was proving hard to control, nobody would have employed me or would employ me now with the amount of time she has had off school.  During the benefit years I did voluntary work to keep myself sane.

Becoming self-employed was the only way forward once my benefits stopped, I realised that with my daughter’s on-going medical issues life working outside the house was never going to be possible without a support network.

I still find it hard to accept that sometimes I have loads of work & at other times I am sitting twiddling my thumbs (or baking) & worrying about when the next contract is coming.  It is all or nothing and at the moment it is a bit too quiet for my liking.  My ideal would be 20 hours scheduled every week, leaving me with capacity to accommodate urgent additional work.

Other People’s Attitudes

I also choose to work from home something that many people fail to understand or see the benefits of.  Aren’t you bored? Don’t you miss having company?  Do you actually do any work? No on the first two & yes to the latter, these comments usually come from the uninitiated, including my daughter’s head teacher.  I am much more productive not listening to other people’s moans. What no office politics or whinging colleagues, what is there to miss none of these outweigh the benefits of working from home in my view.  I have previously worked in teams both here & abroad, so have met the constant whinger.  Also I don’t  get paid if I don’t  work and for me that is the best motivation to getting on with my work.  In this world with ever increasing technology we can be in touch constantly & currently the move towards teleworking is increasing.  Perhaps in the future people will view homeworking as the norm rather than the exception.

Other people report problems with family & friends dropping in, however, this isn’t an issue for me as my parents live abroad.

Health Warning – Homeworking & Procrastination

I’m not saying that working from home is suitable for everybody it really does depend on the type of person you are, so should come with a health warning, before you take that jump & give up your reasonable safe paid job you need to think very carefully.  Are you somebody who can always find something else to do, can you really shut out all the distractions surrounding you?  Can you cope with the fact your income maybe sporadic & also the fact you are working on your own & spending long periods of time on your own?

My working area is in an alcove of my open plan lounge/diner & like everybody else not always particularly tidy, but I have learnt to ignore the clean clutter during my working hours & worry about it later.  I promise myself every year I will take my lunch break in the garden but this is my third summer & I can count on one hand the number of times I have.  This is because I know I won’t start work again if I sit outside during the day.  Procrastination really is a thief of time & especially for the homeworker.

Flexibility

For me the key advantage of self-employed homeworking is definitely the flexibility, & I can’t stress that enough.  Being self- employed means that if my daughter is unwell I can look after her, take her to the GP & adjust my workload to fit this in, although my daughter’s school did tell her she couldn’t be as ill if I had a proper job!  It is a proper job & I take it very seriously, especially as if I do a bad job my clients will find someone else.  It also means that I can accommodate any school events, last week was sport’s day & next week I need to go to assembly, both things that are important to both of us but I wouldn’t be able to go to as much if I worked  for an employee.  I love the fact I rarely say no to going to a school event & always schedule them alongside my workload, if I have a lot of commitments one week I just work harder the week before & after.  I am also lucky in that I choose to work school hours, although occasionally I do need to complete something after school & my daughter is old enough to appreciate the need to be quiet when she is at home & I am on the phone.

As I end this post one of my 2 work mobiles that I answer for different clients is ringing.  I need to answer it take a message & email it through to them.  No time for procrastination now!