Is working from home what you really expect?

I boasted to my friends about my new job and how fabulous it was going to be to have the flexibility to work at home. I was thrilled to think that I could control my work day in a way that allowed me to achieve great things at work yet carefully balance my #mumlife duties; you know the ones like getting to the bottom of the washing basket, picking up the kids at a reasonable hour and making sure dinner is on the table.

So not long into the job and I found myself in a situation where my 3-year-old needed to stay home. With great pride and because I felt totally blessed to have the flexibility to be able to stay home with her, I planned her a chilled-out day of ipad watching, biscuit eating and quiet play while I pumped through my usual workload.

Now my intentions were grand, but what transpired was all but great. 

I had a scheduled conference call at 12pm which was perfectly timed due to her carefully crafted day time nap routine so at precisely 11.50 am, she went to sleep in textbook fashion. I dialed in and then BOOM, my whole world turned on its head.

I scrambled for the mute button, grabbed whatever snacks I could get my hands on and turned on her buddy “ABC Kids”, closed the office door and continued while the meeting participants were none the wiser. I intermittently checked that she was still stationary in front of the TV but was alarmed when on the third viewing she was missing. With the mute button on, I searched the house frantically only to find her dipping her crackers into the toilet bowl. Washing her hands and begging her to sit down, I continued to listen to the topic of conversation and resumed as my usual professional self.

Whilst trying to put intelligent thought and contribution to the conversation and making sure that no one knew that;  1) I was at home and 2) that I was completely testing the theory of multitasking, I continued to monitor my little toilet monster only to find that she had grabbed a half dozen boxes of sultanas and laid them out in a Hansel and Gretel style path around the house followed closely with a large bottle of water that she had drenched the floors with. So, I let my dirty little 2-year-old play with her soggy sultanas on the soaked floors while I wrapped up my conversation – all without really hearing a word of what was said.

The next day was a significant contrast to the trauma of the day prior. I had an absolute ton of work to plow through so I opted for a safe haven at home (this time minus my crazy child).

Hubby took the kids to school so I was at my desk by 7.20am with my breakfast in-hand including the quick coffee I made.

By 9am I had saved my self 50 minutes’ travel time, 15 minutes waiting for barista made coffee and at least another 15 minutes of hearing about someone else’s evening, not to mention the cash I saved from not buying a coffee with a bacon and egg roll.

The level of concentration I achieved was so great that the time flew by and my list of tasks were carefully diminishing one at a time. I felt great, I felt accomplished and I felt successful. I didn’t miss the social interaction because I was connected via technology, but I definitely got a greater sense that my interactions with others were targeted and meaningful.

But as the day had progressed in the blink of an eye, I emerged from my home office after 5pm to retreat to the empty cupboard to make myself some “lunch” only to see breakfast dishes still on the sink, the washing that I put on at 8am still relentless beeping at me and having to make a quick phone call to get my mum to pick up the kids to bring them home for their toasted sandwich dinner because I was “running late”.

My experience of working from home feels quite extreme. There are good days and not so good days but ultimately if working from home was not an option – I would survive. Although with the right circumstances, the right type of work to achieve and the right motivation, working from home can be a really rewarding experience that generates greater productivity, sometimes finding the “Right Balance” is just trial and error.







about the author

Lizette Bull - Is working from home what you really expect?

Lizette Bull is the National Temp Labour Manager for Skout Solutions.


  • 3/03/2018 Andre White
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  • 17/05/2021 Gurneet kaur
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