Working from home has many benefits, from more time and flexibility to a non-existent commute. Although it’s mainly a positive experience for most, there can be challenges involved, especially in the beginning.
Check out this week’s blog for some tips on working through those challenges successfully.
While kid, family, pet and friend time can be a huge bonus to a more flexible job, they can also require a lot of time. Sometimes you’ll need to have focused work time, meetings or conference calls that demand your attention.
For your kids, ask your mom friends or moms in your groups if there are any play groups during the day. You can exchange playdates while other moms need to get things done as well.
You can also take your work outside! Since most home-based jobs involve only a computer, you can bring your office with you. Take your kids or the dogs to a park while you work.
Distractions are part of every job, but can be even more prevalent at home. Between the aforementioned family members and dogs, there’s postal deliveries, homes to be cleaned, and TV shows that can be a little too tempting. If you struggle at all with independent work, it can be even more challenging.
Instead of eliminating these things entirely, give yourself breaks to do what you’re tempted to do during work time, such as watch a TV show, put in a load of laundry, or start dinner.
Your distractions can become a healthy part of your life, as long as you work to manage them while still getting things done. Create a schedule that allows time for the extras or “distracting” parts of your day while still completing your work.
One of the first concerns when accepting a work from home job is the possibility of isolation. Whether you have kids or not, it can still be lonely to not work out of a traditional office.
To combat this, it’s important that social interaction remain part of your life. Can you plan to work with a friend at a coffee shop? What about a weekly happy hour date with a friend or family member?
If you can, look into co-working spaces and spend a few mornings or afternoons working from Starbucks. Even though you might not be working with anyone else, the energy from others, as well as social interaction, will help you feel a bit more normal.
Also, if it’s possible in your situation, be sure to meet up with your co-workers from time to time. If you aren’t local to each other, schedule frequent Skype dates. Video conferencing can still feel like an in-person conversation much more than the phone!
When you start to consider a work from home job position, certain challenges and concerns might creep in. How will I get anything done when the TV is right there? Will I talk to anyone all day? There are a lot of valid concerns in a home based career, but most have simple solutions.
Read along for some of the most prevalent challenges, as well as ideas to address them.
One of the main concerns with working from home is that you’ll become isolated. Even if family is around once in awhile, it’s not the same as an office environment.
It’s good to know going into a home based job that you won’t be in a traditional environment with traditional co-worker relationships. This seems obvious, but the allure of a work from home job can cloud this kind of thing. Be aware of the potential isolation and make plans for it!
Schedule working days out at a coffee shop, meet friends during your lunch break, or network at night. It’s important to get out, and also maintain relationships and contact with your co-workers. It’s very possible to be just as close to a work from home co-worker! It just takes some effort to communicate on a more consistent basis.
If you’re going to be working from home with kids, pets or other family members, it can be very distracting! In addition to that, you have the freedom to watch TV, listen to loud music, and be distracted by any (and every!) thing around the house.
To help with distractions, ensure that childcare or pet care is in place for very important calls or meetings. Do your best to schedule crucial things around your family’s schedule, and then do your best to seclude yourself for that time period.
Distractions will come when you work from home - the laundry, neighbor kids, the UPS truck. But you can work around it! Set your schedule, keep boundaries, and set up outside care for when you truly need it.
While it’s tempting to lounge on the couch, it’s important to have a designated space that’s just your own for work. Take the time to set up a workspace that is both functional and comfortable, and leave it for work only.
It’s important to separate work from home. The easiest, most distinctive way to do this is by working and living your home life in separate spaces. Focus on ergonomic chairs, paint and decor that is calming to you, and office supplies that make your life easier.
Many people assume that if you work from home, you don’t get anything done. Nothing could be further from the truth! There have been many studies done, and almost all of them point to the fact that working from home is much more effective than going into a traditional office.
Between less sick days, decreasing employee turnover, and fewer office distractions, it's easy to see why working from home is the ultimate in productivity.
Don’t fear the home based career! While there are considerations that vary from the norm of an office job, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with a bit of forethought. Enjoy the flexibility, productivity boosts, and quality of life that working from home can afford!