Working from home is NOT for everyone

Since the company I worked for back in 2011 was bought out, I’ve was running my personal freelance business till 2013 and then bought the business I run now. When I worked for the original company, I was in Upstate NY then moved to a small town in Indiana, where we live now. Those couple of years, I was working from home while the homebase for that branch of that company was in Rochester, NY. This job was a great thing for us at the time and my wife and I were newly weds. The scenario was great in a lot of respects.

Not more than a year after we moved to Indiana, my wife was pregnant with our first child and the company got bought out and I was laid off. So began of a lot of job hunting around where we lived, with not a lot of it panning out. I was working as a freelancer that whole time as well. The amount of work ebbed and flowed a lot, even when I bought the business I run now. I don’t remember the exact timeframes but I’ve worked in 3 different office spaces since then (including the office space in my church’s chapel that I’m in now).

I can honestly say that I can’t be super productive working from home anymore.

There’s a number of reasons for this…

1 | I have 4 young children. 3 boys and a girl. A 7yo, 5yo and 2 3yos. They’re energetic and a lot of fun.
2 | I don’t have a dedicated office at our current house to work from. Our previous house had a room that I was able to dedicate as an office. (till we had a 2nd kid that is)
3 | Putting on headphones and saying “don’t talk to me” at the kitchen table, doesn’t seem to be a good enough deterrent to 3yos or any child under 7 for that matter. (this might be a whole bunch of common sense here)
4 | My wife doesn’t want me in the house working but she kind of does, also. That sounds like an enigma because it kind of is. I’ll try to explain…
a | If I have deadlines, I literally need to stay at the computer working. Our kids are more self sufficient now than they were before…thank you Lord, for that. So in theory we could make it work now but within the last 2–4 years, it wasn’t happening.
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash
b | She could run off and do errands, or she liked to imagine. This of course doesn’t blend with me “finishing deadlines” or keeping up with work in general. 15 minutes here, 45 minutes there, etc. Makes for a grumpy husband unable to get work done.
c | At times, I have a hard time saying “no, that won’t work” to my wife. She does a great job teaching our children, keeping the house up and cooking for our family. I’m blessed to have here. I also try and hear her when she says “I’m done, I need out.”

I could go on as there’s a bunch more but I’ll keep things succinct.

All that to say that as much as I don’t get a lot done at home of what consists of “regular work”, sketching and wireframes can still be done while hanging with the kids, if they’re needed. I’m happy to come home and help Christina out sparingly but I can honestly say that “regular work at home without an office” is not a good productive thing for me and my family.

Do you work from home? If you do, what do you find helpful? If you don’t or only part of the time, what gets in your way the most?