Thousands of websites promote the ideal of working from home as your own boss or as a freelancer or remote worker. But few of them look in depth at the role of the work from home bosses. Many businesses grow out of homes, but thanks to the Internet and cloud technology, it’s now possible for them to stay in homes as they grow.

The business leadership connects with other employees, be they full-time remote workers or non-contract freelancers.

Let’s take a look at how this scenario affects leadership decisions and lifestyles.

Business and Team Building from Home

The first major leadership challenge is growing a business. Home-based businesses tend to expand organically with office-based businesses attracting more stable financing and investment. Bootstrapping has worked for many major businesses including many of today’s multinationals.

As a work from home business owner, it is most likely that you will expand your business by hiring other work-from-home employees or flexible contractors. These challenges will include how to hire someone via online applications and online interviews – usually via Skype or through test jobs.

For many traditional leaders, this means jettisoning old ideas of knowing employees via face-to-face interviews with handshakes and eye-to-eye contact.

Changed Workstyles of Work from Home Leaders

Managing employees and contractors will also be different. For example, all documents and data will need to be stored online with the correct set of permissions so the right people can access the right information. Communication with employees and organizing them will go via apps such as Skype and Slack.

Meanwhile business flow and tasks lists may end up on Trello. Things may feel strange as it is impossible for a leader to walk around the business and see people working. All communication will be via text except for Skype calls or conferences.

However, organizing remote workers can have better performance metrics than in office employees. It’s easy to appear busy in an office and talk the talk, but stats rarely lie.

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As a leader, you will have more access to performance metrics to report back results vs targets, time spent online, work produced, and so on.

This allows for a fairer assessment of employees. And hiring remote workers is proving to be beneficial. Early studies suggest they are more engaged than in-office employees.

A Changed Lifestyle of the Leader

Working from home gives most employees or freelancers more free time and more flexible schedules. However, this comes at a cost – discipline and self-motivation.

The home is also filled with potential distractions. For leaders, these distractions remain, but self-motivation and discipline are no different at home than crafting and developing a business in an office.

The biggest lifestyle challenge for leaders is the blurred line between work-life and non-work life.

When leading a business from home it’s too easy to spend all day at work, the evenings working, and the weekends too; especially if you have international workers and clients wanting help or meetings at all times.

It is therefore essential for leaders to be strict in regulating when they work and when they rest to avoid burnout.

What Challenges Do You Face Leading From Home?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Sally Keys
Sally is a freelance writer who gave up a successful career in HR to become a work-from-home mum running her own business. She operates a strict daily schedule, often getting a lot of her work done before the kids get up, and enjoys getting out of the home to walk her pet Labrador, Rosie.

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