Working from home has become a major trend in the past decade. In fact, USA Today reports that home-based work grew 69% from 2000 to 2010. That’s incredible!
There are so many reasons why this is appealing. Parents are the first to tell you that having a home office gives them the chance to spend more time with their children. The flexible schedule enhances their quality of life, allows for less stress when a child is sick and can’t go to school, and even provides financial benefits in not having commuting costs or eating out at lunch.
The benefits are endless but is it something you could do? Not everyone likes the lack of structure and the decreased socializing but if you are ready to give it a try, here are some suggestions for being successful.
When you work from home, it can be a real mistake to let your work stuff get mixed in with your family’s items. For this reason, it is crucial that you be as organized as possible. The last thing you want is to be looking for your to-do list and discover that it somehow ended up in your child’s backpack. Have a routine and set predictable hours so that you meet deadlines and are consistent in your work.
Have a Good Internet Connection
It goes without saying but if you are going to be a part of the telecommunication workforce, you will need to have a reliable internet connection, especially if you are going to be using programs such as Skype to be in contact with employers or clients.
Take Regular Breaks
If you’re sitting on the couch watching TV working on your laptop, you might find that you spend way too many hours in that same spot. Even if you have to put them into your calendar, make sure you get up and take a break. Your mind and your body will thank you.
Create your rules and stick to them! This can be the hardest thing about working from home. Your family and friends may not fully understand that, even though you are technically not at the office, you are still working. They wouldn’t call you on the job to chat and the same boundaries should be respected regardless of where you are working.
Be Careful With Social Media Updates
It’s the middle of the day and a big report is due and you find yourself standing in line at the grocery store when the cover story on a gossip magazine makes you cringe. Resist the urge to broadcast your thoughts to Twitter or Facebook. First of all, you might upset whomever you are working for since it will look like you’re just goofing off when a tight deadline is looming. Secondly, you give the impression to your followers that you are available to discuss celebrity news when you should be working.
Respect Your Limits
You might find yourself trying to take on too many projects now that you feel like your schedule is more flexible. This could come in the form of accepting too many work-related contracts or it could mean that you decide that you’re going to serve on the PTA, get your child into piano lessons, start working out with a trainer and solve world peace. No matter where it gets done, work is still work so make sure you don’t overextend yourself.
Working from home isn’t for everyone but if you stick with a plan to make things work, it can be an extremely enriching experience. And make sure to check out our 5 work habits that ruin a home business.