Friday, February 1, 2008

Working From Home: Kids and Computers, Utopia and Reality

My 12-year-old son talked me into letting him download a Disney online game.

  • On the 'main' computer
  • The one I use to create graphics, manage websites, and keep records
He's quite persuasive. And, he did try to install the software on his laptop first. Besides, it's quite a cool game: "Pirates of the Caribbean."

This is not what any sensible consultant would advise a small business owner to do. There should be things that are strictly and exclusively for business use:
  • Equipment
  • An area of the house
  • At least one telephone line
  • Blocks of time
I'd like to have one of those home offices that we see on television ads. You know what I mean: a room that boasts
  • Upwards of 200 square feet
  • Glass-paneled, curtained double doors
  • A desk that's bigger than some of the beds in my house
  • Wood paneling, probably oak
I know that it's possible to dedicate space, equipment, and time to a home business. I also know that this household doesn't work that way. We've got a long-standing policy of having multi-purposes areas, sharing equipment, and having schedules that are more flexible than Gumby.

If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that ideal outcomes aren't always practical - or the best use of resources. If that sounds familiar, you've probably read "The Principle of the Speckled Ax."

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