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When working from home doesn’t work

Published 26th January 2015

We recently posted an article with ‘Five steps to help you win at working from home‘, which outlined the reality that professional contractors, more often than not, choose a life of working from home over in an office. This is a great option to have if it suits you. With cloud-computing so prevalent in business, working from home has never been more convenient.

But working from home isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, no matter their profession. Sometimes contractors struggle with the isolation that working from home can bring. Where some work well without the distraction of office interactions, others however will happily thrive with the energy of being in an office with other bodies around them.

Fortunately, many contractor positions are in house, requiring the contractor to be in the office. While those who are pro-working from home may not see the desirability in such a circumstance, there are many who would jump for joy at the idea. And with good reason, too!

As a contractor, your time working for any one company can be as small as two months through to two years. For those shorter contracts, you could get through a project without really getting the chance to understand that particular company’s nuances and best practices. Working in the office can assist you to get to know the company more quickly, which can often be a pivotal point in the difference between doing a good job and doing a great job for the company. Of course, this isn’t always the case if in-depth company insight isn’t necessary to your role. However, understanding the approach the company takes in its affairs can often give you a sharper edge with your work.

Sometimes working at home can also dull your focus. Whether it’s because you can’t think of anything more important to do than cleaning the house, the dog is giving you the guilts for not paying attention to him, or you’d rather hang out with the family, workers often find their motivation and productivity drops significantly when working at home. In an office or shared work space, there are less non-work related distractions, and more people around you getting on with the job to inspire and push you to get more done with your day (whatever ‘hours’ you happen to work to).

Another ideal factor in shared work spaces is the ability to build connections. We recently highlighted the importance of networking when you’re a contractor and, even as a contractor, what better, everyday way to build your contacts list than working from an office or shared work space? Not only could you expand your list of professional contacts, the work place is often the best way for busy professionals to build great friendships too.

Whether you prefer to work from home or in the company of others, there are options for any professional contractor to create the work life that suits you. All you need to do is work out which option, or combination of options, works best for you so you can begin implementing your most-desirable work life straight away!

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