Almost all of us would love to work from home. It seems like the ultimate job. No wasting time traveling, spending the gas money, even working in your pajamas. It seems like a dream. However it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Some people just don’t have the discipline to do it and need the office environment. Sometimes family members need to be talked to and be told what working at home means. There are lots of problems and issues with working at home but they’re easily overcome with a little bit of planning. Here are some basic things you will need to know if you work at home.
It may seem a bit funny to set working hours at home, but working at home is still a job. If you start work at 9 a.m. then you start work at 9 a.m. and not later. Pretend that you have a manager looking over your shoulder. All household duties need to be ignored while you are working. Just the same as if you go into an office, you’re not doing a household chore while you’re there. If a friend comes to visit you at home, you have to tell them that you’re working, just like if they came to visit you at the office you would feel uncomfortable with them hanging around. Treat working at home as a job and not a vacation.
Although you can move around your house and work with the laptop, or even sit by the pool and work if you are lucky enough to have one. Sometimes it is better to have a set location where you work. This works especially well if you have family members or others in the house with you. If you are at a working desk you can tell people not to bother you while you are there. If you were sitting in the living room on the sofa and people are watching TV, it makes it very difficult to work and they will interrupt you constantly. Nobody else will take you workspace seriously until you take you work space seriously yourself.
Stick to a schedule. When you work at home you can work at any time you want and take breaks any time you want. This often makes it easy to procrastinate and not actually work. The best thing you can do is set a set schedule of when you work. This includes when you take breaks, and when you take your lunch. Obviously you can still get up and go get a drink when you need, treat it just like you would have the office. Generally the more you pretend you are at the office the better off you are.
If you have friends and family that live with you or visit often, make sure they understand that you are working. You can always ask them if they were at work, how they would feel if you came to their office and sat there for an hour and chatted to them while they’re working. What would their boss think? Would that be acceptable? Working at home is a gift, not an excuse to Goof Off. Family and friends must know that you are serious and that when you are working you are not to be interrupted.
If there are certain things you need to do at home that you cannot do at the office, maybe the reason you are working at home. Things such as taking care of a baby, or dog, or anything that is non work-related but still needs to be done. Set your priorities. Make a task list and set times to do these things. This is your job so take it seriously. If you have to walk the dog or take care of a child, do the task and then get back to work. Do not be distracted.
Working at home can be awesome, but it can be also quite difficult if you don’t have the right discipline. It’s too easy to leave the TV on and suddenly get distracted. Treat working at home like it’s an office and you’ll be fine. Make sure your friends and family understand that it is a job and that you have to do it. Sometimes you might have to be forceful in explaining to them so they understand. But again this is your livelihood, if you are working from home enjoy it but take it seriously. Working at home is a wonderful freedom and I hope we have not dampened your enthusiasm for doing so. Enjoy it fully, but do the job.