So many people have a huge desire to leave the workplace behind, say goodbye to the daily grind and to start working from the comfort of their own home. Although, for some individuals who have actually attained this, it has developed into a colossal headache! With the daily anxieties of life, travelling to work and the actual job itself, working from your own home can seem to be the ideal solution. But the reality can be a very different thing indeed. If setting up a business of your own at home is a serious consideration of yours, then it’s essential that you are aware of the challenges and risks and what moves you can make to prevent these from becoming a problem. Here is our guide to working from home tips for success.
Recognising Your Motivation
When you know that you are not going to be facing rush hour traffic, or having to hurry to catch a bus or train, the temptation to stay in your bed that bit longer can be so strong. All of a sudden you just have to roll out of bed and not worry about looking presentable or being punctual and take a brief walk to your new workplace.
If you hope to be efficient and reliable in your new workplace you have to discover a solid incentive to ensure you are awake and ready at your desk at the designated time. Thinking back on all the reasons you wanted to work from home in the first place is where you will find this motivation. It may have been so that you could have more quality time with the family. Was it to offer you more flexible working hours, or so you could focus your time on pursuing other interests?
If these motivators are not strong enough to drag you out from under your duvet then you may have to find a financial reason. Imagine yourself and your family being chucked out onto the street because you couldn’t pay your mortgage and all your other household bills. Whenever you are contemplating turning over for five more minutes in bed, bring this image to your mind. I’m pretty sure you will find yourself sat at your desk pretty swiftly.
Develop a Routine
Our second working from home tips for success is about structure. Everyone can become distracted, so in order to keep us inspired and focused on the task in hand, it’s really important to develop a routine. To structure your day, designate yourself specific times to start work, have tea breaks and your lunch break. This will help you adjust to your new work environment far quicker than just starting and stopping when you please.
Without defining a working timetable, that includes a set starting and finishing time, your working day will be haphazard and unfocused and could mean you end up working until all hours. Exactly what you were looking to avoid and leaving you less time to relax and live your life.
All of a sudden, you are all Alone
Some people find that working from home can be a lonely experience. As a species, we are social creatures. We may have been surrounded by other people in our old workplace. We could have worked regularly in teams, been able to bounce ideas of others, had a catch up at lunchtime and encouraged each other when things weren’t going as planned. All of this is vital to making our lives feel full and yet, this is what’s lacking when you set up your own business from home.
During the early days, this can be a real struggle, so establishing a collection of individuals who are in similar positions as you is a real help in overcoming this sensation of isolation. Make a plan to start meeting up with these people now and then, whether it’s for lunch, grabbing a coffee or even just catching up over the phone every couple of weeks. Finding a network of people you can discuss any business issues with is a real bonus, as your family and friends may not be able to relate or offer you any guidance when needed. And you can always share your working from home tips for success with each other.
Change your Surroundings and Leave the House
It’s possible that you might be so involved with the job that you find yourself believing that you don’t have the time to even leave your home. But cooping yourself up inside from morning to night is good for neither your physical or mental health. It is essential that you take the time to get out in the fresh air and relax in different surroundings.
Like we discussed before, meeting other people in similar work situations as yourself is a great idea. But consider joining a gym, go to the park, or for a swim. There may even be business seminars being held in your area that could be of interest to you. Go to the cinema, meet up with friends, anything to get you out and about a few times a week. Don’t find yourself in a cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat! This would put you on a path to burn out before you know it.
In this modern-day, there is no need to be stuck at your desk from 9 to 5. It is possible to have a constructive working day away from home. When you feel your business is viable, invest in a quality laptop, a tablet, mobile phone and PDA. This will give you the capability of moving your workplace around.
Why not have a change of scene and work from a local coffee shop, or when the weather is right, a local park or your own garden. The choice is yours, but remember you will benefit from seeing new faces and a different environment.
Set up a Home Office
Most office-based workers are used to a certain formal working environment. So, all of a sudden to be setting up shop in your garage or spare room might be just a bit foreign to you and actually distract you from the job at hand. To ensure that you have the discipline and self-motivation it is really important to allocate yourself a working area within your home as your office.
A quiet area where you can work undisturbed, such as a spare room or a study. Equip it out with all the relevant office furniture, a desk, filing cabinet and office stationery. Most importantly, purchase a decent office chair. You will be sitting in this for prolonged periods of time, so it is a false economy to buy something just because it is cheap. Declutter this space of all family and home-related things, this will help you stay focused as you will associate this space as your working area and not your home.
Get Yourself Organised
In the type of office you are used to, you may have frequent visits from clients and associates, as well as your boss within eyesight. This would have ensured that you kept your desk clear and organised at all times. It can be a completely different story at home. When you aren’t planning on having clients or visitors pop in unannounced then you may find that your desk can get in a bit of a muddle.
You may let your paperwork and documents get out of hand. Unfortunately, if there are other people in the house, they may even add to the clutter on your desk. This just emphasises the fact that designated space, for your work alone, is essential. If your surroundings are messy, you will find that it is harder to work efficiently. So, for a more streamlined performance, ensure that you keep your work area orderly and have a place for everything. Utilise your filing cabinets, shelves, box files and see how much more productive you are.
Your family also need to respect your work situation. It may be a novelty for them to have you home throughout the day and they may not see the harm in popping in for a chat or expecting you to help out with something around the house. It’s imperative that you emphasise to them, that while you are working you should not be disturbed. Unless there is an emergency, then they should be mindful that you are hard at work and nothing should come between you and your business.
Setting up your own business and working from your home can be an incredibly exciting experience, yet it is essential that you go about it in the proper manner or it could turn out to be a massive catastrophe. Taking the time to prepare and plan for how you are going to deal with this adjustment to your working life is a very important step for success.
I hope that you have found our working from home tips for success has given you food for thought and we wish you all the best for a prosperous business, all controlled from the comfort of your own home!
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