Have you ever thought that you'd like to work from home? People often think about switching to home working when they're fed up with commuting or having a boss tell them what to do. Some employers are amenable to employees working all or part of the week from home, if the job allows. It's also possible to freelance from home or set up a small business from your spare room. So what do you have to consider in order to make a go of this? Here's how to be successful working from home …
1. Have the Right Mentality
To make a success of working from home, you have to have the right mentality. If you're not disciplined and focussed you won't get any work done. Even though you're working from home it's still work, so adopt a businesslike attitude. Don't think that it'll be a much more relaxed life than working in an office - working from home has its advantages, but it's not necessarily easier.
2. Office Space
It will be a lot easier to work at home if you can set aside a dedicated space to work in. This will almost certainly be essential if you are going to receive clients at home. In any case, it will help put you into 'work mode' if you can go into a home office and close the door. You don't want interruptions from family or pets.
Many homeworkers find it helpful to draw up a timetable for their work. This might sound at odds with the freedom of working from home, but without someone telling you what to do and when, you can easily fall into undisciplined habits. It will also stop you working too many hours and not giving yourself a break.
4. Avoid Distractions
If you can, avoid distractions such as checking non-work emails or watching TV. Train your family to leave you in peace when you're working. Ask friends not to drop round unannounced (many people think that if you're working from home you're not really working, which is infuriating).
5. Keep in Contact
If you're working for an employer, it's important to keep in contact with them. Many home workers call into the office once a week, so that they can be brought up to date with any developments. But don't answer work emails or calls at any hour, or you'll never be able to properly switch off.
6. Be Disciplined
Remember that working from home is still work, and requires a lot of self-discipline. You'll need to sit down and get the work done, without a boss breathing down your neck. If you're freelance, you have to be even more disciplined. You'll have to look for clients, chase up payments and complete the projects satisfactorily.
Finally, working from home can be very isolating, both personally and professionally. The answer for many homeworkers is to get together with other homeworkers once a week. This gives everyone a chance to share ideas and tips, as well as reducing the sense of isolation. Also look for other opportunities to get out of the house, such as walking the dog or meeting friends for coffee.
While working from home may not be an easy option, it can work very well if you have the aptitude for it. Do you like the idea of being your own boss, or do you prefer the security of a regular salary?