Being at Home, Working
“There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realised until personal experience has brought it home.”
-John Stuart Mill
The journey from a full time freelance trainer, often providing training sessions in up to five different offices in a day, to a home-based worker, with external appointments the exception rather than the norm, has been not only fulfilling – yes and somewhat stressful at times – but also a great learning opportunity for me.
Being disciplined around goals, objectives and a daily structure were well-ingrained habits and offered in themselves a starting point for me to enter into this whole new way of working. Some of the biggest lessons have concerned my attitude towards myself and productivity.
Thinking is working
Ideally everyone thinks during their daily undertakings, though few seem to have dedicated time for this crucial activity. I know at first I found myself feeling guilty if I just sat and thought. Shouldn’t I be ‘doing something?’ was a question very quickly on the scene. Now I can appreciate the quiet times as vital inputs to my working day. The appreciation doesn’t always stop the doubts, but I’m beginning to feel I have the upper hand in the contest.
Others may think what they like
I was used to wearing a tie, carrying a briefcase and ‘being the part’ as it were. To anyone interested, there was no doubt I was ‘working’. At present I am sitting here in an old sweater and jeans. It took a while but now I understand my comfort whilst working at home is more important than attempting to come across as a ‘professional’ to others with whom I may come into contact in the course of the day.
Being local doesn’t stop one being global
Certainly it’s not necessary to be working from home to connect with the world. Many office workers interact around the clock with clients, colleagues and contacts in a variety of worldwide locations. For me, breaking the cycle of daily sessions in one city, Milan, has opened up opportunities to widen my horizon from the much smaller city of Modena. Thanks to Skype and Twitter I now have clients in different time zones and feel part of this great universal much more than ever before.
As with everything, it’s all in constant evolution and it’s all about our perceptions to what is. Other hurdles will present themselves together with learning opportunities. Being open to the whole enchilada as a home-based worker is not always easy, but then neither was schlepping around every day with 10 kilos of training material…
Ciao for now.