Working from home isn’t for everyone. Sure, you get to work in your bunny slippers, no one steals your lunch from the employee room fridge, and you avoid office politics and traffic jams. But that doesn’t mean that life working at home is going to be a bed of roses, either. here are a few tips that can help you make the best of it.
1. An Understanding Family
One of the hardest thing about working from home is setting boundaries with the people you live with. That’s why having a separate office space in your home and a set schedule is so crucial. Getting your family to respect these boundaries might be harder.
2. Get Help
If you have very young children, you find it easier to get help than to try and work around them. In this case, it would be helpful to have another adult in the house, or to drop your children off at daycare, or a babysitter’s to get a few uninterrupted hours to yourself.
3. Get Your Own No-Fly Zone
It will help to have a room, a workstation or at the very least a desk in a quiet area in your home. Here is where you keep your laptop or PC, fax machine or phone, work documents such as reports and invoices, your stationery etc. And it would be good to ensure that no one but you are to use your equipment.
4. I’m Working, Honey!
It’s important to treat your work-at-home career the same as you’d treat your job. When you’re at “work,” you should be working. But just because you’re office is at home, doesn’t mean you’re “on” 24/7. When work is done, leave it in your “office.”
5. Deliver the hours
Depending on what has been ironed out in your work contract, you’ll be expected to work set hours or deliver work on a deadline. The good news in working from home is that nobody is keeping track; the bad news is nobody is keeping track (let that sink in for a bit). All this means is that you need the self-discipline to get the work done on time.
6. Have a Routine (and Breaks)
Many people work at home to help them meet some other goal, such as being home with children or taking care of ailing parents. With savvy planning and support, you can work at home around family obligations, but to do so, you need a set a routine to insure everything and everyone gets the time and focus they need.
7. Open Up, Be Reachable
The problem most managers have with their employees working from home is that they can’t keep an eye on them. Make it easier for your boss by being reachable whenever possible. Further, keep in touch about progress on your work, focusing on results you’re getting.
8. Deliver the goods
One thing that should always be at the back of your head is that your productivity should not diminish when you work from home. If you can’t get the work done, your employer will terminate the telecommuting set up, or in the case of freelancing/home business, you won’t earn income.
9. Get out of the house
Moderation is key. Working in solitude can create feelings of isolation. Getting out of the house every now and then is very important. If you don’t have to go back to the office to have meetings or deliver progress reports, you can bring your laptop and work at a coffee shop or meet a friend during lunch.
10. Stay healthy
Get plenty of fluids and eat healthy, and if you aren’t a fan of exercise, just try to move around whenever you can. This gets oxygen into your blood circulation which can be the cure to that fatigue you feel after looking at the same project day in and day out for months! Relax with music or light reading.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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