Working from home can suck

So many women are building fantastic businesses. They often keep overheads low by working from home, but what happens when working from home isn’t taken seriously?

Let me explain …

One of my clients rang me, feeling extremely frustrated. She worked from home, and because of this, her friends thought she was available to them all day. She had to deal with all kinds of interruptions – phone calls, visits, texts. Meanwhile, her working time was already extremely limited.

When I asked her how many people she was talking about, she said she received at least two visitors a day! Can you imagine? When you have children at school, the only time you can work is during school hours. Having a couple of visitors drop in each day meant there were days when my client was getting nothing done.

“Take me seriously!”

Previously, my gorgeous client saw her business as a hobby. A visitor here and there was okay, but one year later, she had transformed her “hobby” into a profit-making centre. She had changed, but her friends thought it was “hobby as usual”. Throw in the fact she genuinely wanted to help her friends and didn’t like saying no to them – it was a recipe for disaster.

In fact, my client’s situation had become so bad, she drew her blinds during the day so no one would think she was home. I don’t know about you, but that would make me feel like a prisoner in my own home! At least it was a start to tackling the problem, I thought.

Plan of attack

Things couldn’t continue this way, so we came up with a plan. Here’s what it looked like:

  • We did some work on her mindset, so she would feel okay about putting her business first after years of focusing on others.
  • We brainstormed options that would work for her personality and business.
  • We agreed she would let her visitors know she needed to be more vigilant with her time as her business was getting bigger.
  • She scheduled time in her diary so her visitors could still see her, but when it suited her and her business.
  • She also talked to her family about the changes she was making, so they could have her back when necessary. This also signalled to her family that her business was now a serious one.

Two months later, I am happy to report this strategy worked – mostly! It didn’t work when my client accepted visitors outside her scheduled times. She quickly discovered that when you loosen boundaries once, it’s hard to force them back into place.

What about you? Do you have people “drop in” because you happen to work from home? How does this affect your business and wellbeing?

Perhaps it’s time to set some boundaries of your own.