Wednesday, March 9, 2011

8 Work-At-Home Pitfalls 5-8

The Toronto Star recently published an article whose title starts with a digit “8” and the prospect of a list always intrigues us, so we went to see what is was about.

I’m going to tackle each pitfall and suggest what you-the-general-manager might do to avoid the pitfall.

Yesterday – Pitfalls 1-4

5. Guests never seem to get it that you have work to do and when you are in the office you’re not playing solitaire. Recently, I had a visitor who loudly sang off key while I tried to work to a deadline.

If the guest is your pal Rick who you haven’t seen for two years, then the General Manager should be scheduling off-time for you so that you can spend time with Rick. If the guest is Gwendolyn who stays overnight each Tuesday to catch the opera films, then the General Manager needs to remind Gwendolyn that after 8am you are at work, and need a quiet atmosphere.

A guest who does not appreciate your situation ought not be invited back. That’s the General Manager’s job, too.

6. Credit is a problem. Banks still look askance at the self employed. I believe they have a secret, negative category for us, particularly those who work at home. Assets, sparkling credit score and low debt to income ratio be damned, the work-at-home crowd have a tough time getting things like a business related line of credit without pledging their first born.

If banks don’t appreciate your business, go chat with a credit union. Credit unions pay interest and bonuses, are staffed by friendly people (not clerks hanging in until retirement) and are flexible on loans.

Banks don’t have all the solutions to your problems. Banks are geared to the most-common-needs of the general public, and still have problems understanding someone who chooses not to work in a cubicle on the 23rd floor downtown.

7. Too many bosses! Everyone you do business with is a potential boss. Juggling them all is often a challenge. And you can’t make the excuse that a job will be late because a certain VP demanded your time.

The Gm again. Why are you juggling 8 projects? The General Manager doesn’t need to make excuses, either. This is the world of business.

Back in 1990 I had three clients who each wanted me full-time. I had all 3 discuss the situation between them, and they came up with a schedule that they could live with (until one project ended and we re-assigned my time).

Admittedly I started work at 5 am on the northern end of the city, then travelled 70 Km to a suburb for an 8:30 start there, then 50 Km for a 11am start, but I got to nudge each project along each day, and the clients were happy.

8. The kids hate it. When mine were in the tween and teen years they yearned to be latch key kids. How can you get into after school trouble if Mom is always there when you get off the school bus?

Tough One. I have no tweens living with me, but I do have a couple of cats, one called “BleatsALot” and one called “WouldBleatIfHe Didn’t”.

My General Manager recognizes the value of living creatures in my habitat, and lets me schedule time to be with the cats, to play, serve lunch. At 3pm we “cut grass” and they get a few blades of oat grass. At 9:30 “let’s Have TREATS!”, and so on.

It is your General Manager’s job to schedule arriving-home time as a 30-minute tea-break so that you have time to quiz the kids about, well, quizzes, change clothes, get them settled etc.

And yes I know that point 8 was written as a downer for the kids, but the principle is the same.

Talk to Me !

No comments: