Starting to work from home means you can create a new routine
It’s my observation that the 9-5 ethic is deeply ingrained in us after roughly 200 years of most of the population leaving their homes each morning to ‘go out’ to work. When someone leaves a job in the workplace to work from home, it generally takes a while to fully appreciate and make use of the flexibility now at their disposal.
When I left my job at Boots to start my cleaning business, I used to feel quite shifty about being out and about whenever I chose. Retail stores had strict rules about when staff could leave the store, and they applied to me, the Personnel Officer, to some extent. It took a while after I started to work from home to get over the feeling that one day I’d be caught and hauled in front of some authority to explain myself!
I know a marketing consultant to small businesses whose clients tend to be successful corporate employees who have left their jobs to work from home doing something they are passionate about. The consultant told me she always asks them what their working day will look like and invariably they reply ‘I’m going to start work at 9, have lunch between 1 and 2, and finish at 5’.
That, of course, may perfectly suit some people, but you also have the possibility when you work from home of making up your own routine around the times of day you’re at your best, family commitments, fitness classes, shopping and many other activities.
And there’s even more flexibility at this time of year when the days are getting longer and the weather warmer (in theory) because there’s more time to work and the possibility of doing it elsewhere, including outside.
However, time management came up as the biggest challenge for home workers in my recent home working survey, and by that they usually mean working too many hours. So ditch the 9-5 if it suits you, but also make sure not to replace it with the 5 (am) to 9 (pm)!