I’ve been working from home for 25 years. I’ve never had a day job; I’ve always worked for myself. It never occurred to me to go out and get a ‘job’ as I wanted to be at home with my children and work at the same time.
We made a decision 18 years ago to home-school our children who are now 25 and 28.
Our reasons are our own and it was a wonderful experience. However, it also meant that whatever I did for work, needed to be managed from home as I needed to be there with my children.
Keep in mind that when I began my ‘work from home’ life it was pre-internet and pre-digital. It was also during a time when it was almost unheard of to work from home. There were no networking events other than the Chamber of Commerce meetings who were mostly in support of the retail sector.
At the start of my entrepreneurial journey I was producing television as an independent producer for Optus Vision cable network.
I was managing a large production team by face-to-face meetings at home or via the old-fashioned telephone. We didn’t have email and there were no apps to support us with converting any of our manual tasks into digital processes.
It was isolating at times, but as much as I needed to be innovative around my children’s social life, I had to do the same for mine. I created friendships with women who were primarily at home with their children or who worked part-time. They supported me with childcare when I had to see my clients. It was a great community and support network that was organically created from a common need.
There are certain things I hear about working from home that I find odd. Things like being distracted with the housework or sleeping in. I find these things a gift.
Think about it this way.
If you don’t have to get up early to put on your office attire and then drive to work, why not sleep in?
If you stop now and then to start prepping dinner or going for a walk, isn’t that really the same as getting up from your desk every now and then and moving around? Mind you, dinner is now at 6pm instead of 8pm.
The loneliness will only sink in if you don’t prioritise your social time. If you understand yourself well and you know how you need to interact, just include it in your day. If during this time of isolation, you feel you need to hear someone’s voice, book in some phone calls. If you need to physically be engaged with people, book in a video call. If you have the need to be heard, write an article or shoot a video and share it on social media. There are a number of ways you can stay connected during this time of social distancing and thankfully we have the technology to make that happen. (When it’s not crashing of cause!)
Let’s look at it another way.
You’ll have more time to read, be still, paint, learn a new language, play board games with your family or just simply sleep more.
Either way, it’s a great lifestyle. Welcome to my world.
I’m the CEO and Founder of The Room Xchange, a tech start-up with a decent sized team and we all manage and communicate well. We share our lives in between and we balance what’s important with what’s needed. Our company tag line is ‘changing the way you live, work and play’ and we are always working at incorporating that on a day-to-day basis.
Here are a few tips that might help you through this challenging time that you can safely incorporate within the social distancing restrictions.
1. Make sure you set time aside during the day for yourself
2. Exercise on a daily basis
3. Eat well and stay hydrated
4. Stay off social media unless you’re working on your social media marketing
5. Be well organised
6. Book in phone calls, video calls or even a regular group video meet
7. Let other people in your house know when you’re working and when you’re not
8. Think about dinner in the afternoon and get something started
9. Shut off when you’ve finished for the day
10. Create a separate space that is for work and another for living (if you can)
PS: If you’re home-schooling while in isolation, I’ll be writing another article with some insights that will help you get through.
PPS: If you’d like to have a chat about how to productively work from home, reach out to me and leave a message.
Article by Ludwina Dautovic – Founder and CEO – The Room Xchange