Go back just a few years and the phrase ‘working from home’ was often frowned upon, in fact it was often seen as an easy ride or an excuse for a lazy day. With lack of work monitoring software or accessibility via various media and social channels, the luxury of working at home was often left to the MD or Head Honcho.
However, recently we have seen a huge spike in the number of people setting themselves up as self-employed and working their business from home. This is above and beyond a working from home day, this is full time.
It seems the perfect option when first starting out, if you don’t need storage areas for stock or require a large working space, home could indeed be the perfect workplace. If your business can be fully operational from a laptop, a decent broadband connection and a comfy chair, why would you pay extra for an office space?
There are however a number of things to consider before making your home into your workplace. High on the list is motivation and productiveness.
We are after all, human. If an easy option is dangled in front of our face, we normally take it. If something can be put off until tomorrow, that also normally happens. All of this you will encounter and have to overcome if you are to make working from home a success. It’s an autonomous environment, and one you will have to be disciplined about if you’re going to make things work.
You will have to push yourself every day, set goals for yourself and take responsibility; for everything!
To help you along the way we have put together a few guidelines and tips around working from home. I’m sure readers of this article (some maybe currently working from home) have many more helpful tips, please add them in the comments section below the article – pass on the knowledge!
Do’s and don’ts when working from home
DO – Make an area in your home a place for working. It doesn’t matter how small, that is your place of work. That means anyone else in the house should respect that area when you’re in it, keeping quiet if on the phone, making sure you’re free before entering.
Don’t – Become too flexible. Yes, working from home does mean you can work around certain events or even do the school run. However, have a limit and set hours in the day that you cannot change.
DO – Learn how to switch off. It’s harder to turn your mind off from work because you are not leaving the location. The temptation to work longer hours is a lot higher. Make a time you finish work, your working day still requires structure and that includes a ‘finish time’. You need downtime at the end of a working day, close the door to your workspace and don’t sneak back in!
Don’t – Put work off! If work has to be completed that day, make sure it is finished. Act like you’re working for an employer, accept responsibility and don’t let your standards slip. Working in a relaxed environment is great for lowering stress and dealing with deadlines, but don’t let the relaxed surrounding creep into your work.
DO – Set goals every day, your mind needs a working structure to stay focused. They can be small achievable goals, making a call to a client or clearing your inbox before the end of the day.
Don’t – Get stuck in a comfort zone. It’s very easy to get caught in a groove when working from home, no one changing the dynamics or team members adding input. Always look to improve how you work and what you’re offering.
DO – Get social! Online and offline. Use Twitter and other social platforms to promote your business and talk to likeminded people. Being involved in an active online business community can really ‘break the silence.’
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!