By November 15, 2011 Read More →

Why are home workers hard on themselves?

Home workers need to give themselves a break!

Home workers are so hard on themselvesI interviewed over 50 home workers when I was doing the research for my book Work from Home, and one of the most striking realisations to come from that research was how hard home workers tend to be on themselves.

When we go out to work we constantly deal with interruptions from colleagues, exchange news and gossip, make coffee, struggle to make the printer work etc – and still go home at the end of the day with a feeling of a job well done.

Yet when we work from home, we want and expect to be productive 100% of the time and unwanted jobs that crop up like uncooperative technology, unexpected phone calls and dealing with glitches all feel like wasted time.

Home workers often feel guilty when they’re not at their desks working during normal office hours. Yet the freedom to work odd hours to suit ourselves is one of the reasons we choose to work from home. The old habits cling on after we’ve left the office environment behind, just like cartoon characters keep running after they’ve gone over the cliff!

You may feel you have to be available throughout working hours in case you miss a call from an existing or potential client. But do you expect professionals to be instantly available whenever you call? Of course not, and if they were you’d probably start to worry about how good they are if nobody is using them!

Manage the situation by returning calls promptly and explaining you were in a meeting/on another call/focusing 100% on an important piece of work, and people will respect you for your professionalism and want to work with you.

It can be so tempting to scrub out plans to go and meet a friend or take a walk if someone suggests that time for a meeting or call. But then you can end up wearing yourself out by never freeing up the time to get refreshed and replenished. Stick to your guns and show a little kindness to yourself!

Posted in: Routine

6 Comments on "Why are home workers hard on themselves?"

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  1. James Debono says:

    Hi Judy,
    Your post definitely rings true.
    Many people find themselves being an Entrepreneurial Slave to their business and never truly capturing the reasons why they started in the first place. More freedom, more time with family etc
    My advice….Don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself time to unwind or otherwise you will end up resenting your business.

  2. judy says:

    So true, James. I remember at times feeling like my cleaning business had grown into a beast that was threatening to devour me! It wasn’t till I’d sold up that I realised how I could have done it differently.

  3. Hi Judy,

    Just having a browse and came across this post – clearly I was meant to read it. It is nearly 9pm and I was just thinking I could squeeze in a little more work despite fuzzy head and tired fingers! This is a great post – I particularly like the part about ‘managing the situation’ – good advice.


  4. I think it is easy to let work overtake life. Work life balance needs to happen somehow.