For those of you who do the daily commute and dream of something else, working from home is just a magical dream. Believe me, I remember those 5 hours a day spent in the driving seat just to earn a buck. I now work from home and after several false starts I think I am getting it right.
But if you’re like me, a bit hand to mouth and unable to afford a place of your own, living in the workplace can come with a whole host of problems.
I’ve drifted between jobs whilst I’ve been trying to become financially independent. That’s taken nearly two years. Renting somewhere to live is a huge problem because my business isn’t just a laptop. It’s a room full of equipment, stock and rails of ongoing and completed clothing for shoots and sale. As a stylist I also need to hoard a range of stock and it comes at a price – space. And shoes, as every girl knows, take up room.
Since I went solo, financially I’ve never been in a position to rent my own place. I’ve been in house shares for 6 years now and my finances have been tailored to a frugal lifestyle. Whilst my latest living situation has been ideal in some ways it’s not been great in others. I am moving again in just a couple of weeks to something that seems idyllic, but is essentially still a house share. Aside from the money issue there is the people problem, which is why in some ways I really should be going into a place of my own.
The round robin lifestyle of working for an unpredictable income puts paid to your social life and your relationships in the home. The people who live with you see that you are there all the time. Always working. Or they think that you’re not really working because you’re there all day. And that puts a strain on relationships. People resent you because you are there and eventually they just get sick of the sight of you.
I’ve never really been a people person but in day to day life where you have a job you go to, socialising just happens. Coming home at night to an empty home can be a relief.
It’s a sure fire thing that if you work from home friends and money will be a problem. Firstly money gets tight. That means less nights out, less traveling, less pubs and less restaurants. And there are only so many times friends ask before they stop. And suddenly one day you realise they’ve all moved on.
Living in good houseshares does help with some of this problem. But It’s a sad day when you start using friendship sites on the internet to touch base with people. It’s also a sad fact that you will discover these places littered with individuals who either work from home or have lost all their friends in a partner split. Such is life.
Even if you’re not really a people person everyone needs people to remain balanced, focused and inspired. You can’t be a happy home worker if your only contact with the outside world is through your tv. We are not made that way.
Whether you’re just starting up, or if you’ve just reached the crisis point I’m facing at the moment, this stuff might be the wake up call you need. Take it to heart and don’t let your business become the thing that stops you from living life.