Work is where the home is - Women's Agenda

Work is where the home is

Small business owners are increasingly mixing their work life with their home life, spending 13 hours each week working from home – equivalent to 17 weeks a year.

According to new research released by Optus, more of us are ‘life-splicing’ or spending our working lives at home, with only 5% of small business owners claiming they don’t bring work home with them at the end of the day.

According to the research, two thirds (65%) of small business owners admit to starting their working day in their pyjamas, with as many as 40% doing so at least once a week.

Apart from being able to start their day wearing whatever they feel like, the biggest advantage of working from home for small business owners, according to the research, is avoiding the daily commute (67%). Other benefits include multi-tasking between home and work life (59%) and the lack of office politics (55%).

While small business owners see many advantages in ‘life-splicing’, there are also some frustrations. Thirty-three per cent listed poor tech set-up at home as a disadvantage, while distractions from household chores and children (44%), a lack of office banter (32%) and the inability to bounce ideas off each other (23%) were also cited as downsides.

According to ‘life-splicer’ Natalie Bloom, the founder of Bloom Cosmetics, the blurred line between work and home life can be a blessing and a curse, but you need to have a functional home office to make it work.

After founding her business back in 1993 from her parents’ home, Bloom says she now has four children and works from home, the office and on the go. For Bloom, working from home not only requires a reliable home network connection and a dedicated work space so you can focus your mind at peak times without distractions, but also a good balance between work and home life and a good network.

“Juggling work and home life can be claustrophobic, so take time to refresh your environment and your mind by breaking your day up. Something as simple as a short walk can reenergize you and increase productivity,” says Bloom.

“Being able to bounce ideas off others and get fresh perspectives is vital for any new business. Remember to network and make the most of your contacts.”

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