Working From Home...Can You Say, Stress on A Marriage?

Planning to Work From Home? Do a Reality Check First

Are you planning to start a business from home (or move your business home to save on rent)? Before you do, consider the realities of working from home found in a new survey by Carbonite. Carbonite found that home-based small business owners struggle to balance work and home life, partly because working from home creates technological and personal challenges.
For example, nearly half (45 percent) of survey respondents have lost data or documents because a family member used their work computer. Four in 10 have told a “white lie” to a client to cover up for a technological breakdown. Small business owners miss out on an average of five personal commitments each month, whether it’s a child’s recital or dinner with friends, to get their work done. More than half (56 percent) say they regularly skip events to finish projects.
A whopping 78 percent admit they have to “hide out” at home to find enough peace to get their work done. The bedroom was the top hiding place, but 13 percent have finished work in the bathroom and 12 percent have camped out in the garage.
Last, but not least, home-based business owners often get into arguments with their spouses or significant others over work, with the three big points of contention being:
  1. Work is cluttering other parts of the house (32 percent)
  2. Working late is taking away from family time (31 percent)
  3. The business owner can’t separate personal life from professional life (30 percent).
Do these facts mean you shouldn’t work from home? Not at all, but they do mean that you need to do a reality check. Before you start working from home:
  • Make sure you have an adequate place to work. The dining room table probably won’t cut it. Assess how many hours you’ll be working, what type of work you’ll be doing, whether you’ll need to meet with customers in your home, and what your family’s needs are before you choose your setup.
  • Get your family on board. Working from home can’t work without the support of everyone in your household. Make sure your loved ones understand what this lifestyle demands. Set regular work hours if possible so that everyone knows what to expect.
  • Be prepared to juggle. I don’t believe in work-life balance, because the two things rarely balance. Sometimes you may be all about the personal stuff, and other times you’ll have to focus on business. Be prepared to sacrifice some personal time to make your business work, but by the same token, don’t feel guilty about grabbing personal time when you and your family need it.
Need help figuring it out? The experts at SCORE can help you put it all in perspective.