By Alan Graner
Is working from home a real job?
According to your spouse, your kids, your friends and relatives, the answer is…
When you work from home, the perception is you’re not really working. According to them, the only “real” office jobs are those that take you out of the house, whether it’s in a commercial building or on the road.
As a result, you will be constantly bombarded by requests such as:
- There’s nothing for dinner. Be a dear and run to the store.
- Can you take my car in for servicing?
- Will you pick up the kids?
- Can I borrow you for just a half-hour?
- Can you take my mother to the hair dresser?
- Would you get the phone?
- Since you’re not doing anything important….
To which I get, “Oh, this will only take a few minutes. I mean, as long as you’re home….”
Would I get any of these interruptions if I were “at work”? The answer is a resounding NO!
It’s all psychological. If you’re “away,” you’re working. If you’re “at home,” you’re not. It’s that simple.
I’m fortunate because my office has a door I can close. And lock, if necessary.
But what if you’re working at a small desk in the living room or at the dining room table where you’re out in the open? After all, nobody does serious work at a dining room table.
When I get interruptions I tend to get a tad miffed and state, in perhaps a slightly over-loud voice, “Don’t bother me, I’m working!!!”
If you have kids at home you must train them to respect your work time. Explain that when you’re at your desk you’re not to be disturbed unless the house is on fire. Generally kids are more than happy to watch TV or play games or, if they must, do homework.
Spouses must also be dealt with firmly. Fortunately, many of them are trainable.
If all else fails, grab your laptop and head for the library or nearby coffee shop. It may be noisy, but chances are no one is going to ask you to help them do the laundry.
How do you get taken seriously working at home?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business public relations and marketing content firm. For content that makes you stand out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.dsprel.com.