Working From Home – Everything You Need To Know

More and more people nowadays are working from home. Whether it is on their own or for someone else, it’s admittedly very enticing to be able to sit in your pajamas and work whenever you want.

Earning your living in the same environment that you live in presents a whole new set of challenges. And, not everyone is up for them.

So, if you’re contemplating moving your office into your home, then here are some things that you need to be aware of beforehand:

Learn to separate work from home


When you work at an office, factory or any other location outside of the house, it’s easy to separate your work and home life.

Essentially, when you walk out the door at home, you put your work face on and vice versa when you return home. However, if you never walk out the door, it can be hard to tell which face to wear when.

The best thing you can do is come up with clear definitions that will help you set the lines of work and family time.

You may choose to do this by setting up an office and only doing work while in it, or it could involve setting specific hours so that you know when you need to work and when to put it away so you get your precious family time in.

Motivate yourself

One of the best things about working from home is that you dictate your own schedule. However, this can also be the kiss of death if you aren’t a self-motivated person as there is no one standing over you telling you when things need to be done.

If you’re the type of person who likes a lot of direction, then telecommuting probably isn’t for you. Don’t feel bad about that; it just means that you’re more productive when you’re around other people.

But, if you are a self-starter who has no problem beginning and finishing projects without direction, then this may be exactly the move you need to make in your life.

You must set boundaries


When you work from home, other people have the tendency to think that you don’t really “work”.

They think that because you’re not at a desk or assigned location within a work facility that you should stop to take their call or visit with them whenever they feel like chatting.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of working from home, you’re going to have to be comfortable setting boundaries with the people you love so that you don’t let it affect your livelihood. Maybe you’ll need to set specific hours that you decide not to answer your phone or the door.

Most family and friends will respect that, but then there are always the people who like to push the limits, so you may have to get forceful to protect your time.

Your physical health will thank you

Even if you normally sit all day at work right now, working from home is actually more harmful to your health because you’re not even taking the actions to get ready and travel to and from work.

You might wander down the hall or stairs to your computer and that’s about it. Therefore, your body is moving less than ever, which can create some serious health consequences down the road.

Ideally, you want to make sure you get up at least every hour to stretch or move. Whether you go to the bathroom and walk a few laps around the house or just stretch your neck and arms to keep yourself limber, the more you do the better you’ll feel.

Of course, 30 minutes of activity daily are best, but just try to move as much as possible.

Sometimes you’ll miss being social


Some people don’t mind spending a lot of time alone, but others rely heavily on social stimulation. If you fall into the latter category, then working from home may make you feel isolated and alone.

You lose the ability to chat with someone working next to you, so the days can sometimes feel longer and not quite as engaging.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy working from home if you’re social, it just means that you need to come up with ways to be social that don’t interfere with your work.

For instance, maybe you should make it a point to get out at least one night a week with your pals so that you laugh and have a good time. If you don’t, you may start to withdraw and depression could even set in.

It is easier to be distracted at home than at work

Sure, there are times that you can be distracted at work, but they don’t even compare to the distractions that you have when you work at home. This is especially true if you live with someone else or have children. Very rarely will you get quiet time to just sit and do your job.

To be effective at telecommuting, you have to be good at tuning out everything that is going on around you. You can’t be easily sidelined by the dishes in the sink or the carpet that needs vacuuming.

You also can’t be disrupted every time someone walks past you or turns on the television in the other room. Of course, you may have control over some of these types of interruptions, but you also can’t expect other people to not live just because you choose to work from home.

Stress is your own fault


If you’d like to work from home and be your own boss, then be ready for the stress that is going to come along with it. It’s one thing to telecommute and depend on someone else for a paycheck, but it’s another thing entirely to make your own living and be 100% responsible for your financial success.

This puts an extra heavy burden on your shoulders so you’re going to have to find a way to deal with it before it consumes you.

It’s okay to push your limits and work hard, but don’t hurt yourself in the process by creating stress and tension that you don’t let go. Set aside time often to decompress and get the negatives out of your body.

Now, you may read this and think, “Why on earth would I ever want to work from home?” If that’s what you think, then you’re right that it probably isn’t the best idea for you.

However, if you went through this article and still believe that it’s a better choice, then go for it. You may just be the telecommuting Queen.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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