Many people dream about working from home. These days with virtual assistants and remote access to computers and lots of stay at home entrepreneurs, it’s more common than you think – and achievable.
Work From Home
If you have been running your own home-based business now for a few years you would have learned how to adjust to many things as your lifestyle changed. Those of you who envisage entrepreneurs lying on a sun lounge at a five-star beach resort and making some daily half-hour adjustments to an online business may have the wrong picture in your head.
The tendency when one first starts working from home is to over indulge in that sense of freedom. With no commuting and no traffic jams, life is looking good. It’s more than likely hard to get into some intense application of work practices. Coffee at your desk and not having to worry too much about your appearance makes for a great lifestyle.
When you had a job to go to you would need to get dressed appropriately and to a standard that was set by society as well as dress rules required by the employer. For some it may have meant a uniform. The new ‘you’ can stay in your pyjamas or just throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Sometimes you might even let the morning shower slide! But the negative aspect of this lazy and disorganised attitude can filter through to your work intensity as well. Slob life – slob work.
Your new lifestyle
If one adopts a laissez-faire attitude to how they approach their work then that will become the same sloppy attitude to the actual work done.
Here are a few tips that a budding entrepreneur or a person about to start working from home might like to adopt.
These won’t be right for everyone, but if you start in this way, you can adapt each to be just right for you.
- Dress for work. Neat casual, and if you have an appointment that day, dress for a business meeting.
- Follow a similar routine as if you’re about to head off to the old job. Breakfast, read the paper and have a set start time that you would go into your home office.
- Set a finishing time to leave the office.
- Work beyond those hours only if it is absolutely necessary.
- Adjust your hours to fit with your lifestyle – work a longer than usual day in order to go surfing or play golf the next. Start later in the day if you exercise in the mornings; start earlier if your ‘you’ time is in the afternoons.
- Ensure your family and friends know that just because you are not ‘going to work’ that you are in fact working from home. This means they should know not to call on you for favours, drop in unannounced, or otherwise interrupt you – if that is what was the case in your previous job.
- If you have a family, take this new found freedom to be flexible enough to do those things you might not have been able to before, e.g. take the kids to sports training – even become a couch!
- Take holidays.
- Maintain a social life. Go out with friends, dinners, BBQ’s
Most importantly, understand what the perfect work/life balance means to you. Explore those interests that you’ve been putting off pursuing, and fit them into your new, flexible schedule.