Telecommuting, working from home call it what you will; it is the craze these days. Everyone wants to work from home for one reason or another. My thoughts are that most people think working from home is just sitting around in your favorite sweat suit and not working. Those that think along those lines will not last long in their new career. The truth is working from home can be quite challenging. Having the right equipment, commitment and work etiquette are just a few things you will need to succeed. Here is my top 5 list of how to succeed in working from home:
1. Make it happen - the truth is finding a good paying job that allows you to work at home is challenging and competitive. Online searches will prove frustrating as you have to wade through scams, and low paying jobs. You are more likely to convince a current employer to allow you to telecommute after you have proven yourself in the office. The other choice is to do it on your own; start your own business.
Tip: You will be more successful if your attitude is that you want to work at home not that you have to.
2. Get the right stuff! Don't go cheap on equipment. Depending on your line of work you will probably need a fast internet connection, reliable phone, a good computer and an all in one printer (fax, scanner, printer, copier). The last thing you want is to look incompetent to your new clients or employer.
Tip: Spend money on good quality equipment
3. Create and follow a schedule. What? I know the reason you wanted to work at home was so you didn't have to follow a schedule. The problem is if you don't create and follow a schedule you will find yourself working endlessly and unproductively. You may also find yourself washing dishes when you should be working.
Tip: Create a schedule to stay on track and avoid over working yourself
4. Take a shower for god sake! Now I am guilty of this more than anyone. I wake up, make the coffee turn on the computer and start going. Before I know it, it is 2 pm and I have got a ton done but my hair is disheveled and I haven't eaten anything. I think it is important to still have the structure of eating breakfast, showering, getting dressed in work clothes etc just like you would if you were going to the office. It keeps things kind of normal.
Tip: Try and keep a "normal" morning routine going.
5. Take a break. I feel it is very important to take a break for several reasons. It boosts productivity and makes working at home worth while. Take a break and catch up on some personal stuff, walk the dog or just relax. I take breaks during my workday to go for a run, go skiing, go fishing or to do something outside. I live where I recreate so I can go for just an hour and be back at my desk refreshed, happy and ready work again...and I am much more productive.
Tip: Schedule and take breaks approved by your employer or clients.
The truth is I feel that most people are actually MORE productive when they work at home. I will write another article on that at some point to prove my point. However, for now I want to focus on how to succeed at working from home. Follow my guidelines to get the most out of your new work from home job.