One of the key ingredients to my life’s “secret sauce” is having fun – by travelling, working on home renovations, playing with Luke, reading books and watching Carolina basketball (when they win). Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires does require some discipline, but it’s not all work. Since weekends are a great time to kick back and relax, I’m going to spend Fridays talking about ways to have some fun.

When it comes to finding your life’s secret sauce, work might be one of the number one things that influences your health and happiness. Whether you work full-time or part time, for a large corporation or small business, take care of the kids or manage a multi-million portfolio –  it’s work! But I’m not trying to be a career counselor today.

Ten years ago, I left Corporate America to start my own marketing company. During much of this interim, I have worked out of a home office, using coffee shops as a conference room and spending quite a bit of time on airplanes (especially after I moved to Boise). To me, a home-based business offers the best of both worlds – familiarity, flexibility and informality, with a little dose of big business when I get out to visit clients.

I like working from home so much that I thought I’d list top ten reasons why. At the end, you’ll get a taste of why others like it, too.

My favorite things about working from home:

I get to hang out with my dogs. This is especially beneficial after one of them has had surgery, and needs some TLC (as is the case with Walden right now). When my little baby’s leg is healed, I hope to return to our mid-day jaunts in the hills.
After surgery

I get more work done. I know, I often miss the hallway chatter and community gossip, but I have far fewer unnecessary meetings and get way more work done without drive-by’s and other interruptions.
I can make my own schedule. If I want to get up and work at 6 a.m. then take a 2 hour break in the afternoon to get my hair highlighted, there’s no one who can tell me not to do so. Likewise, if I want to whip open the laptop and do some writing after Luke goes to bed, I can do that as well. And sometimes, after a glass or two of wine, I’m much more creative anyway.
I can better manage my child’s schedule. Though I was incredibly blessed to have had Super Nanny till Luke started school (and now I have an amazing after school program at the YMCA), I still have the flexibility to pick him up early if I want to do so, take him to the doctor for a check-up or, more likely, drop off his lunch box at school when I forget it in the a.m. (or the class snack, or his bathing suit, or a myriad of other things we typically forget).
I can work out whenever I want. Well, within reason. If I have a conference call or in-person meeting with a client, I’m not likely to frivolously leave for a 2-hour bike ride. But I will say, when the weather gets in a bad rut like we seem to have endured during the last 2 months, I can get up and go for a jog when Mr. Sunshine peaks his head beneath the clouds.
I can jumpstart dinner with minimal time and effort. Though this might not sound like a big deal, taking chicken out of the freezer or throwing a piece of meat in a marinade can make my dinner preparation less stressful and more efficient after Luke is home from school. We can eat dinner by 6:30 instead of Luke’s bedtime.
I blast the music if I want to do so. Or have the Olympics on the TV in the background. And most importantly, I can turn on March Madness in a few weeks (but even I will admit I am not too terribly productive during the first round when a mid-major upsets a big name like Duke. Yes, I am sending out early subliminal vibes).
I get to eat a healthy, freshly made lunch. (unless we are out of everything, which seems to be happening a lot these days). I get to use the stove or panini maker to create my concoction, and that beats the heck out of a microwave.
I get to grab a snack when I have hunger pains (which is actually quite often when I’m training for an event) and fortunately am not tempted to attack the usual pile of crap that’s sitting in an office break room.
I can decorate my office any way I want. Right now, I can reminisce about the songs of my youth,

My albums

dream about the days we were good,

Franklin Street

and most of all, look at my little Bubs and smile.

My Bubs

Here are reasons other women like working from home.

Jennifer, from Charleston, SC, and owner of Carolina Photosmith says: Working from home has really been an evolution of realizing it was now-or-never to hone my photography passion. Since my primary job is Mom of Two Youngsters, working from home has enabled me a creative outlet and a flexible schedule to work around their needs (carpools, field trips, illnesses). I also enjoy the leisure of catering to the ebb and flow of my creative juices.  Plus, by embracing my current stage in life as a mom of young children, I have developed friendships and contacts for building my photography business — and for keeping sane along the way.

Caitlin, a writer from from Orlando, whose blog is titled Healthy Tipping Point says: I love working from home because it gives me flexibility in my day to day schedule.  But mostly because I get to hang out with my two wonderful doggies all day long!  🙂

Jen, from Boise, ID, super successful entrepreneur and mother of two, who amazes me by her ability to fit in workouts despite her busy schedule, says: Two things – flexibility with kids and their schedule along with minimal distractions that you have in the office (e.g., fewer interuptions by team members stopping by, etc….you have the choice to pick up the phone…but in some instances still must).

Lenora, a business development coach from Seattle, likes working from home because  she can work in a stream of consciousness way, not necessarily in priority order and can drift between different types of projects without interruption.  She gets a lot more done and has a feeling of “flow” while she’s at it. (I might also mention that she was also named Client of the Month at Fitness Together for integrating diet and exercise into her busy schedule. Way to go Lenora!).

Lisa, also known as Workout Mommy, says that her favorite part about working from home is that she gets to work on her own schedule.  She likes being her own boss and setting her own calendar.

What’s your favorite thing about working from home?

About the author

Melinda is a marketer, researcher and writer. She also has a passion for healthy living, every day.