We all know there are some wonderful advantages to working from home, but there are certain disadvantages that cannot be ignored. Last month I visited a woman that worked from home and although the setup appeared professional, there were major distractions that prevented us from having a productive meeting.
It all started with an itchy throat and watery eyes. It took me about halfway through the meeting to realize that these familiar uncomfortable symptoms were from something I’ve been suffering from my whole life—pet dander! Why am I telling you this? I could barely focus on our meeting at home, and all I could think of was the fastest way possible to end the meeting without being rude. Have you ever had trouble with meeting clients at your home and your pets have gotten in the way? Before I started coworking, I used to schedule Skype calls and client phone calls while working out of my home, and my dog Loca (she really is crazy) would bark up a storm. I would apologize for the interruption as my face turned beet red, and remind myself to find a better solution for communicating with my clients when noise can be a factor.
Another important thing to consider? Any unexpected visitors. This includes the mail man, pest control, people getting you to sign petitions, etc. You get the picture. These are visitors that you aren’t exactly accounting for. The mailman does not necessarily come at the same time every day and packages don’t always get delivered when you expect. There are also those random monthly or even weekly visits where you have pest control or some other sort of household maintenance coming by. I for one have an incredibly loud doorbell because my room and home office are toward the back of my house, so hearing this doorbell or even someone pulling up to the house can cause panic, barking, and ultimately me losing my thoughts and focus. My worst nightmare other than losing focus was potentially losing credibility with a client.
I realize that these are things that just “happen” and are a part of life, but the best realization is that all of this is totally avoidable! Use up coworking spaces, rent out a room, do whatever it takes to get you away from those unexpected factors that could interrupt your work. Oh, and for my sake and the sake of others, please choose a different location to meet if you have pets that could potentially make your clients ill! Thankfully, here at Posh there’s a great meeting room policy set up. There is an online scheduling tool where you can attach an agenda and/or send that confirmation to the person you will be meeting there.
Have you had any “horror stories” either when meeting in someone else’s home or vice versa? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!