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Consulting work from home has its advantages. It’s a dream come true to be able to wake up and commute into your home office, instead of the usual public transport or drive to work in traffic! Also, think of the flexibility you have with your hours, you can wake up and run some personal errands before sitting down and doing some consulting work. Working evenings or weekends can easily make up lost time from the comfort of your own home.
Working from home sounds great, but it may not be the best arrangement for you as a consultant — or your client. Before investing in a home office, read through our article and make a sensible decision of what works best for you.
It’s a double-edged sword, though. When you have a lot of work, you just expand your day and work through evenings and weekends without discussing with the client the best approach to the work as they could be just a few desks away from you if you are working on-site at their offices. Working through your weekends and evenings could have a major dent on your social life outside work. Also, a major drawback of working from home is interruptions. The television is close by, so is the temptation to turn it on and have a long lunch watching TV or take an afternoon nap before coming back to your work so it depends how you can schedule your day and how flexible you could be taking into account the timeframes of the projects you have been assigned.
What’s the answer?
The answer is to set working hours for your ‘work at home’ consulting business. It could be something like 9.00am to 2.00pm and then lunch for 30 minutes and then continue from 2.30pm to 5.00pm. The schedule should not be the typical 9-5, the freedom and flexibility of working from home means you can do things when they’re easiest to do, so schedule some work time on Saturday, or during one evening and keep part of a weekday free instead for personal errands or supermarket shopping. By maintaining a clear separation between work time and home time, you can enjoy both while looking forward to each transition. Blurring the lines between the two can make you feel overwhelmed by both.
Despite the flexibility of working from home, not everyone is cut out to be a ‘work from home’ consultant. There are some drawbacks you need to be aware of:
I know a lot of consultants who prefer working from home and that could work for them very well but it’s not the optimal situation for every business consultant. Before you take the decision, think about the points we made here and consider your client’s requirements. If you’re already working from home, respond to this post and let us know how things are working out for you.
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