How long have you been in this business: I’ve been in communications for about 7 years and in PR specifically for 3 years.
What is the biggest challenge about having your business and family under the same roof? Keeping things detached. Meaning, physically maintaining a completely separate workspace within the house where I am not to be bothered during designated work hours is difficult. Since my youngest daughter is home with my husband for most of the day, it’s often expected that since I’m home, I should help out, but in reality I need to be working. I feel pulled in multiple directions a lot and I have to be very organized and disciplined to avoid becoming overwhelmed completely. Still, I’d rather deal with this challenge than battle traffic every day.
How have you managed child care: My husband is home during the day and heads to work around 4:00, so we try to schedule naps around times when he isn’t here. It’s definitely a challenge! To compensate, I’ll work early in the morning or late in the evening, when the kids are asleep, if I have work that I need to catch up on.
What is your favorite part of working from home? Being immediately available if there’s a family emergency and not having to drive an hour plus to work every day.
Least favorite? Not having a need to ‘dress up’ to go to the office. I really love fashion and I find myself wearing sweats all the time! Not good, not good at all.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as a work at home business owner/employee? Not knowing when to ‘turn it off’. I find myself working constantly!
What is the best decision you’ve made as a work at home business owner/employee? Being flexible. I view working at home as a privilege, not a right. I’m always available to speak with a client or a co-worker. If needed, I’m willing to travel to the office on days that I normally work from home. You must be perceived as a team player—even when you aren’t in the office on a daily basis, and I work really hard to make this a reality.
What advice do you have for anyone considering starting a work at home business or job? Be flexible, dedicate a separate space only for work, actually get dressed every day—don’t roll out of bed and start working—and take breaks. This is one thing that I often forget to do!
Bio: Christine Randle works with DPR Group, Inc., a Washington, D.C. Metro-based public relations (PR) firm, as an account executive, serving some of the firm’s largest clients. She provides strategic PR counsel for companies in a wide range of industries including enterprise software developers, information technology (IT) management firms and government contracting agencies. Christine holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and a master’s in urban studies from Temple University in Philadelphia.