There is an art to working from home and not everyone is able to master the craft. Working from home is a luxury that saves much time and money, but if you are not disciplined, you will be foiled by constant distractions and nothing will be accomplished. Working at home is most successfully practiced by independent self-starters who are comfortable working alone. “The level of discipline it takes to work from home and generate solid results is intense and most people fail at (working from) home because of this one fact”, warns business and sales strategy expert Grant Cardone, author of If You’re Not First, You’re Last (2010).
In the 21st century, working at home does not mean simultaneously juggling business and personal responsibilities while in your pajamas. Telecommuters and Freelance solopreneurs save commuting time and expense and give themselves more potential working hours in which to maximize productivity. Control over one’s time is a huge benefit. There will be no impromptu meetings to destroy one’s schedule or long conversations by the water cooler to talk about last night’s game, but those who live with others may have to fight to enforce boundaries and eliminate constant interruptions. Freelance solopreneurs also realize a tremendous cost saving through by-passing office space rent. Make the most of your home office experience and follow these tips:
I. Create an office space
If you are able to have a room in your home to use as an office, so much the better. City dwellers may have a small desk or writing table in a corner of their bedroom. Keep your workspace clean and organized, as suggested by feng shui experts. A good environment really does boost productivity and make one feel more comfortable.
2. Establish boundaries
If you live with others, teach them to respect that when you step into your office space, you are at work. You cannot referee spats; you cannot chat with your husband or your mother; you cannot drive anyone to the mall. Shut the door and work. Do take normal workday coffee and lunch breaks.
3. Keep regular work hours
Go to work every day. You have the luxury of working longer or shorter hours, mornings or late nights, according to your biorhythms and the projects on your desk. Resist the temptation to be either a workaholic or a slacker.
4. Dress for success
The popular image of those who work from home is of someone who’s in a bathrobe all day, or sweats. Remind yourself and those with whom you live that you are a professional who takes your work seriously. Take a daily shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair and dress for work, whether in business casual attire or jeans and T-shirt.
5. Stay connected
Working at home is isolating and it is important to maintain professional contacts. If you telecommute, set up and participate in conference call meetings that keep you in the loop at the office. Write reports that document your work and contributions to your team. Meet regularly with clients, whether you are a telecommuter or Freelance solopreneur. Join and visit professional networking groups and attend conferences. Nurture relationships with professional colleagues.
Thanks for reading,