How to Successfully Work from Home

Posted: 11.12.2018

In the United States, there are approximately 8 million homeworkers who work most of their week from home; that’s 5.2% of the population, and the figures are only set to rise. Telecommuting is becoming a more accepted and way of working, even for the more traditional employers, as the savings made by homeworkers to the business make it an attractive proposition.

Telecommuting allows for the business’ costs to be dramatically reduced or even avoided altogether: the mortgage or lease, office equipment, and utilities. Of course, some roles must be fulfilled in the workplace, but for those people who work from home, they report higher levels of job satisfaction, which, in turn, reduces sick days and attrition rates. How do you decide if this career path is right for you? We delve further into it below.

Is Working from Home for You?
When people talk about working from home, conversations can be divided into two camps: those who could do it, and those that wouldn’t. This type of work does not suit everyone, and before you embark on a telecommuting or virtual role, you need to reflect on your personality type.

· Working Alone
Working from home often means that you are isolated from the company of others. You may send e-mails, dial into meetings and even Skype colleagues, but most of the time will be spent in solitude. While some people struggle with this, others bloom in these conditions. They can focus on work tasks and achieve your targets swiftly and effectively without office distractions such as chattering colleagues.

· Self-Discipline
The telecommuting relationship is primarily built on trust. You are employed to fulfill a role and trusted to complete the tasks in order to meet your obligations. Your employers cannot see that you are sitting at your desk. However, the standard of work that you produce will be an indicator as to whether you are taking a disciplined approach to work. While flexibility is one of the main draws of telecommuting, if your employees or clients work traditional hours, you need to be available to respond to any requests within their ordinary working hours.

· Set Boundaries
You need to be able to set very clear boundaries so that people understand that you are working from home. When your neighbor knocks on your door for a chat, you must be able to say that you are unable to talk right now. It can make you feel awkward, to begin with, but would they turn up to a workplace wanting coffee? Working from home does not mean that you are available for well-meaning friends and family to call by. Establishing regular working hours that suit your workflow and business will help eliminate unwanted knocks at the door and help to set boundaries.
 
How to Keep Motivated
Even the most dedicated and hardworking telecommuter can, just like an office-based employee, feel unmotivated. Whereas in an office you have your colleagues to inspire and help refocus your mind, when you work from home, it can be challenging to do so alone. There are, however, things that you can do to keep your motivation where it should be: sky high.

1.      Get dressed for success
It is vital that you wear clothes that boost your mood and make you feel professional. Research has shown that the clothes that you wear can affect your motivation. You could sit around in joggers, but if you wear smart attire, your brain will respond appropriately. This phenomenon is called enclothed cognition.

You don’t need to wear a corporate suit, but you do need to make an effort to wear smart casual clothes. Not only will the standard of your work improve, but it gives you an excellent opportunity to separate work from leisure (which is very important when you work from home) if you have specific work clothes that you can take off at the end of the working day.

2.      Separate office space
Just like having different clothes to wear for work, ideally, you will also have a separate office space. A dedicated workspace allows you to keep work and home life separate and reduces the opportunity for distractions.

Tips your home office:
·  Install a dedicated business line unless you are cell phone only.
·  Make sure that you have an ergonomically designed comfortable desk and chair.
·  Place your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light, and use task lighting as necessary.
·  Balance storage with workspace: both are important.

You are going to spend a lot of time in your home office, so it is essential that you make it a space that you enjoy being in. If you don’t have the luxury of having a separate office, you can use clever interior tricks to define your workspace within the home.

3.      Office Equipment
While your office décor is vital to creating an environment that you enjoy being in, you must not prioritize spending money on it above and beyond buying the best equipment to meet the business requirements. It can be tempting to scrimp on essential equipment that you need, but to do so is a false economy. You will not be able to complete your role as efficiently. If you need to replace or upgrade equipment, do. You will get a high return on the investment. Bonsai Finance provides payday loans that can be used in this circumstance.

4.      Processes and procedures
If you are self-employed or freelance, it is essential that you develop a formal system of processes and procedures. For example, by standardizing how you record your time for each project, you will be able to see which clients and tasks are more profitable and will be able to invoice correctly. This information is vital for being able to provide an efficient and reliable service but also acts as a great motivator by helping you to understand how much money your time is earning you.
 
To Conclude
Working from home is not for everyone, but it can be a great way to achieve a work-life balance that works for you and your family. The advantages can outweigh the disadvantages if you do it right.

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