Many people enjoy the benefits that come from working from home. The flexibility that you can work when and where you like is the main incentive but in order to be successful, you have to be disciplined. Some find it impossible and miss the environment of an office work space as well as the way dressing and traveling to and from a job makes them feel like they are really working.
Working from home pros
- Independence and control in your workday with the ability to structure work hours around your own schedule and personal commitments.
- Possibility to enjoy more family time
- Save time and money on commuting costs
- No office distractions – peace and quiet when you need it
- The possibility of working from anywhere,
- No dress code
- You can write off a small portion of your home office expenses on your taxes
Working from home cons
- Household distractions and family interruptions
- Having to secure childcare for when you’re working
- Can be isolating and lonely
- You can never escape the office and go home, because you are already there
- Lack of IT support
- You may find it difficult to separate work from home life
- Must be self motivated and organised everyday
- You miss out on the camaraderie that stems from working with others day after day, There are no coworkers to go to lunch with
- Working from home can be messy and can take up an entire spare room in your home
Tips for working at home
Working out of your home can be a great solution for certain people. Ask yourself, “Does this work style fit in with what I want and how I am most effective?” If you do work out of your home, it is important to remember:
1. Create a professional work environment
- Create a comfortable work environment.
- Set aside a specific space in your home for work.
- Make sure you have the necessary equipment to do your job right.
- Dressing in the pj’s is comfortable but you may feel more professional if you dress for work
2. Create a daily work schedule
- It’s easy to get sucked into being available to work any time, any day. Schedule the time you will spend at your desk, making phone calls and meeting with clients. Don’t think that just because you are working from home that you can work whenever you want.
- Set boundaries with your family and friends
- Resist the temptation to do housework – create a schedule for when housework will be done so you can put it out of your mind and focus on work. If you can’t start work until you’ve done the washing and cleared the kids’ clutter, a home office will undermine your productivity.
3. Ramp up your tech skills
- Help is not on the way! Whether it is setting up your new computer, wireless router or creating professional looking emails and presentations, know where to find the help information quickly.
- Back up all your data regularly and know how to access/replace it
- Protect yourself with good internet security and a firewall
- Use technology to stay competitive with accounting software, planning software and tools, time tracking software, email management and mobile internet access.
4. Don’t be a hermit
- Get out of the house and network. There are many local business groups you could join or start your own. Networking is great to bring in more business as well as get business support from like minded people and experts.
- Create a circle of support. This could include a general business mentor as well as experts in record keeping and accounting, information technology, social media, branding and marketing.
Working from home requires management skills, industry expertise, technical skills and a long-term vision to grow and succeed. Organisation is the key to juggling work and home life and technology helps to make working from home more efficient. With up-to-date communication devices and internet access, you can be working from anywhere. Working from home offers flexibility and convenience, and can often be a great way to kick start a new career.
So what do you think? Do you have any tips for how to work effectively from home?