How have you found your emotional experience when working at home? I have just done 14 months of working at home, and will continue to do more. The emotional experience has been something I did not expect and it took some time to smooth it out such that I became comfortable with myself and what I was doing.
Work at Home Versus Office.
Why should the emotional experience be so different when working at home – it’s just the environment that’s different isn’t it? Well the answer to that one is an emphatic no – why?
The Office emotional experience.
If we reflect on the office emotional environment we can see the following:
- It is an experience where we usually feel comfortable on a day to day basis (unless we have just started a new job in which case it will take a while to settle down).
- Stress is usually managed by all members of the office because that’s the way we do things nowadays. By this I mean that in a team meeting for instance we would all pull together and if one person is under stress we would all help out.
- Usually we know where the day and month is going to go. We know what our objectives are and how we will be measured, and usually we feel comfortable that providing there are no big setbacks we will cope and achieve.
- If we do get setbacks then we have people to whom we can refer and get help to resolve the issues.
The Work at Home Emotional Experience.
Now let’s relate this to the work at home emotional environment;
- Unless we have been at it a while we will not feel comfortable on a day to day basis because we are not sure what is round the corner – it’s all new isn’t it and this gives us a fear feeling – what if I can’t cope?
- Stress has to be managed by you doesn’t it? There may be a partner/husband/wife to whom we can express our situation but if not you are on your own and this means that the stress will only build more unless issues are resolved and stress levels can be lessened.
- We usually have set the objectives for our work at home business and often they are based on a big fat guess. Our expectations are often seriously unrealistic and when we don’t achieve we blame ourselves not the expectations. This in itself means we don’t really have any conviction about the future weeks and months. Will we make money? Will we build the business as we said? The fear factor comes back again and with a vengeance if things go wrong.
- There is usually no one to whom we can refer if we have a setback and we have to figure it out ourselves – not good? We also have to include home chores which have to be done as well as building a business.
Okay so we can see why our emotional experience is likely to be very different to that of the office and it is most likely to be one where our emotions will be on the down side for a long time until we start to achieve.
Getting your WAH emotional experience under control.
In my 14 months I would say that my emotions have swung tremendously. At this time I am much more relaxed and much more in control. Why is this?
- The biggest thing I found missing was a routine. I didn’t know from one day to the next what I was doing, (mainly trying to learn a new business), and I was always at the edge of “this is going wrong, I will fail”.
- I spent time doing nothing because I was not seeing any results (this of course just compounded the issue). I could see no achievements so I assumed I was failing.
- I didn’t have the training schemes that would allow me to see that I was making progress – I was essentially fumbling around.
All this changed about 10 months ago.
- I joined an online training scheme which gave me the direction to go – I had an objective to get my business up and running, and a day by day set of work to do – great.
- Most importantly it enabled me to make realistic expectations, rather than the foolishly optimistic ones I had previously. This is how I was measuring myself – I should have achieved by now – why not!
- This gave me a routine and most of all the ability to ask questions if I didn’t know what to do (online admittedly but responses were in 24 to 48 hours –Ii could live with that – I wasn’t on my own any more).
- This then allowed me eventually after about 3 months to get a routine together which gave me a good comfort feeling.
Now I am making really solid progress and the emotional highs and lows are much less pronounced, and I smile a lot more!.
I hope this helps you in your work at home emotional experience.
Yours in business
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