Whether you’re employed or working for yourself, working from home can present a few challenges. Here are a few pointers for those considering work from home careers.
The new way of working
Working from home is becoming ever more popular these days. Many firms are keen for staff to be “home based” and with less need for office desks, and consequently less office space, the effect on overheads is tangible. Not only the number of employees working from home keep on increasing, but also the self-employed numbers are also on the rise due in part to websites advertising opportunities to “earn money today” or asking questions like “need money quick?” It’s still a job The important thing to remember when faced with the opportunity is that it’s not a licence to put your feet up. The mind-set needs to quickly come to terms with the fact that you’re there to do a job and not watch daytime television or the test match. For people with other members of the family at home, the television is not the only distraction. Treat it as an office job It is important to create a work-like environment to be successful. In this respect, setting up a spare room away from your normal social family space is vital. If other members of the family are around, make sure they know that it’s your office and constant interruptions will not be appreciated. It’s also a good idea to get separate telephone/fax lines installed. Whilst at first it might be cute when your three year old answers your client's call, it still doesn’t project the most professional image.
Prepare as if the boss was there
A day’s work is a day’s work and you should therefore set times to be at your desk. Just because you don’t have to get in the car and rush to the office and can have that second cup of coffee doesn’t mean you have to! Time management It’s also a good idea to set time limits on specific tasks and stick to them. By regularly checking your progress, you can gauge your productivity. Keep asking yourself, “Would I have done more in the office?” Getting the balance right There’s no doubt that working from home has advantages. You can take a more flexible approach to your work, as long as you get the work done and meet the deadlines set. Being your own boss So, if you’re running a small business from home then be a stern boss, after all it’s your money. If you work for someone else, remember that it will quickly become clear if you’re less productive while working from home rather than in the office.