Everything You Need to Know to Make Working From Home Work For You

If you’ve always worked in a busy office environment, you might while away your days dreaming of working from home. The trouble is that a working life at home isn’t for everyone. You might think it is less stressful, easier to take breaks, and offers a better life balance. The truth is you have to work hard to make your home working achieve those goals. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks to help you make it work for you. There may be a few sacrifices along the way, and it may not be exactly as you planned. But it can work. Here’s how:

Overcome The Cons

Working from home is lonely. You are usually the only person there. Of course, if you have a pet, then you can finally spend some quality time with them. Perhaps you want to work from home so you can enjoy walking the dog more often? Still, you will crave human company. To overcome this downfall of working from home, make sure you engage with a network of like-minded people. Keep in touch with friends from the office, and try to go out to lunch at least once a week.

Working from home means very long hours. There is a great blurring of the lines between ‘office’ hours and home hours. You probably started working for yourself from home to reduce the hours of working. Sadly, it takes a long time to get set up and earning a steady or reliable income. You might be interested in getting a monetized blog going. Sure, there are shortcuts. If you know what you need to do and you can find out how to start a Blog easily, then you might be able to zoom ahead.

Preparing your accounts and filing your taxes is tedious and hard work. If you’re working for yourself from home, you need to be very clear what relief you’re claiming. Do you have a dedicated home office? Perhaps you use the kitchen table? Don’t forget you may be asked to make your contributions ahead of earning them. Can you be certain your income will be reliable enough?

So you wanted to get the dinner on, all that ironing done, and spend time with the kids? It can prove tougher to do all this when you work from home because it’s tougher to switch off from your home business. Try to set yourself clear working hours. Remember, any reduction in your working hours could mean a reduction in income. Your work life balance could be harder to juggle now!

Children are wonderful. We adore them. We love them and would do anything for them. But when they’re fussing or making a lot of noise, it is impossible to focus on your task. It’s difficult to hear your client clearly on the phone. And when you’re starting up, any distraction could cost you dearly. Be prepared to need more childcare than you did before so you can get done what needs to be done without interruption.

Enjoy The Pros

Working from home certainly does give you more control over your hours. You can always say the day is over whenever you choose. You can even choose to start the day much later than you did in the office. The gift of time control can be so valuable for busy Moms. After all, not every day is the same when you have kids. They have different activities and appointments at different times and may even start and end school at different times each day. Then you need to consider childcare during the school holidays. Yes, working from home means you are there, in the building. It might not mean you can be entirely attentive if you’re working though!

Fitting in the housework to be done in the middle of the day instead of last thing at night can be much better for most of us. After all, we’re tired when we get home from the office. The last thing we feel like doing is cooking and cleaning. If you’re solar-powered, it makes sense to do all those things like vacuuming and ironing during the day.

If you’ve had enough of fender-benders, traffic jams, and bridge tolls, working from home will certainly avoid them. With no commute, you can save yourself hours each week. It can be enormously stressful to drive into work, so saying goodbye to the pressure of traveling can seem like a dream come true. Still, if you’re not going anywhere, you are in danger of being even more inactive than you were in your office job. Try to take a walk around the block at the beginning and end of each day. You could even enjoy one at lunch time too!

Schedules at work are often very restrictive, and deadlines can be too tight for comfort. When you work for yourself, you set the schedule and all the deadlines. It could be a good idea to set yourself strict working hours though. You can still enjoy shorter days with plenty of free time. But if you’re on less money, you need to make every hour count. Figure out what your average hourly rate is. To boost that, get the work done in fewer hours. Stick to those hours to create a routine. Even if you’re escaping routine in your regular job, having one at home helps you to enjoy more free time.

Task lists may have been the worst thing about your last job. The trouble is, no business owner will succeed without a clear plan of action. Pick a number of tasks that suit you in the hours you want to work. Stick to it. This will soon become the norm, and help you figure out how much time the day-to-day tasks will take. It also helps you determine how long it will take you to complete your client orders. This, in turn, helps you choose the price you want to charge. If you want to earn money for yourself, you will have to take on all the mundane tasks for the business too.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Scoop.com. Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email sarah@sarahscoop.com to connect and work together.
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