Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tips for Working at Home

Working at home sounds like a dream come true, until you actually start working from home.  Whether you are working from home to save costs on a new startup venture or small business idea or staying at home to take care of kids, we are all confronted with the same obstacles when trying to work from home.

Obstacles to working at home:

  • DISTRACTION: At home, we surround ourselves with things and people that comfort us.  Our pets, loved ones, favorite hobbies, television shows, visitors and phone calls can all be a distraction to focusing on work.  
  • MOTIVATION:  With multiple distractions, the will to be motivated on the task at hand can be an obstacle to getting the job done.  
  • SOLITUDE:  There is no one to evaluate your performance or cheer you on.  You are alone and the solitude can provide little encouragement to completing necessary work. 
  • NO MONEY:  Starting up your own business can take a lot of work before you see some income results.  You will be spending more money than you are earning.  It can be easy to get discouraged.  
  • NO STRUCTURE:  Working on your own means you don't have a set time to come into work.  There are no hours or company rules.  A lack of structure can be an obstacle to sticking to a set schedule and get enough work accomplished during the day. 

How to Make Working from Home Work for You:

  • ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES:  Just because you are at home doesn't mean you are available to every thing an every body.  Set up a separate area as your work space - off limits to distractions.  Have a work computer, desk and chair as if it were in an office.  Keep it professional and let others know that this area is your work area and when you are at work you are in a "do not disturb" mode.
  • SET UP A SCHEDULE:  Maintain regular work hours and try to stick to this schedule.  Even if you decide to work 12 hours a day, you need to set your 12 hour day and have start and end times.  This schedule will help you make time for other things and other people but still allow you to get your work accomplished. 
  • ESTABLISH GOALS:  Set up daily and weekly goals to monitor your progress and maintain your vision of where you want to be in the end.  These goals will help retain your motivation as you check off one goal after another and make headway on your dream career.  
  • GIVE YOURSELF WHAT YOU NEED:  Stock up your office with paper, toner and all the supplies that you need.  You have to have the proper tools in order to be a success.  So prepare and give yourself the tools you need to do the job. 
  • SEEK INPUT FROM OTHERS:  It can be lonely in your new workplace - on your own and away from co-workers and those who can provide constant feedback.  Network with others in your chosen profession, seek their input and advice, ask for tips and help.  In this manner, you can develop a group of associates and not feel so isolated. 
Working at home can be tough work.  But, it can also be quite rewarding.  You are on your own and it is your time to shine.  Make the most of the experience and provide yourself with all you need to be great at what you do.