This is becoming an increasingly popular way of living and there are many advantages. It certainly cuts out the commute time, which for many people means saving a couple of hours every day. It can also take away that stress of commuting, the traffic hold-ups, train delays and overcrowding. Though it adds different stresses including a sense of isolation becoming distracted – there are a million ‘other tasks’ to do at home!
In the current climate many of us are constrained to work from home. When this is all over and things can go back to ‘normal’, I believe some of us will not want to go back!
This post is aimed at someone doing a traditional type of job which requires some sort of online presence. At the end I will add a link to a site suggesting alternative ways of working from home. If you are a Creative Artist, then just do your own thing!!!
Think about your work area
If possible make this a permanent fixture, preferably in a spare room. There are an increasing number of businesses offering Garden Offices which can be quite luxurious and expensive. When I first started out as a teacher, I lived in a small house without a spare room, so I converted the attic space into my office. My son is currently converting part of his basement into a work area. Whatever you choose, ensure it is a place that will not be disturbed easily – I’m thinking about children and pets.
Set Regular Work Hours
This is one of the hardest things to organise if you work independently. For people who are working from home as part of a regular job it is easier to set a schedule such as daily check-in times with the main Office. It can become too easy for breakfast to last until late morning and lunch becomes two very pleasant hours. This is fine if you know you can work into the evening; do you want to?
Plan your day with To Do Lists
This is a great way for keeping to a schedule. Set daily goals and targets, then review these at the end of the day. Timetable lunch, coffee breaks and exercise breaks. I split the day into four 4-hour blocks, starting at 8 a.m. A lot of people have said to me that the day is ‘just about over’ by 4 p.m. – to me that is the halfway mark. I’m not suggesting that you work a 16-hour day! Think of it in terms of what you need to achieve in those blocks of time.
When I was a full-time teacher the ‘normal’ school teaching day would be over by 4, though there were always clubs and meetings after that time. The block up to 8 p.m. was family time and as my sons go older this would stretch into the fourth block. Any extra schoolwork had to be fitted into the time available up to midnight. I kept with this idea during school holidays.
Dress for Work
I remember my first business when I worked mostly from home – I had a franchise selling Investment Properties in Florida. Some mornings I found I was still in my dressing gown a 11 a.m. On other days I went to networking meetings and potential clients; I was in a business suit and by 11 a.m. I felt I had achieved a lot.
So, if you work at home get up and get dressed! It changes your attitude and motivation and makes you far more productive. After all, you are running a business.
Exercise and Stretch Regularly
Many Office workers hit the gym in the evening and the place is always packed, hot and sweaty. The great advantage of working from home is that you can choose when to go to the gym. Avoid the early mornings as that is when all the crazy people go! If you like to start the day with Exercise than investigate routines that can be done with minimal equipment. A home gym can be built around using your furniture and maybe a couple of dumbbells.
I have a friend who said he used three gymnasiums for free – he used them as focal points on his cycle route! If you have a gym membership and you’re working from home, then 9 a.m. and Noon are great times to visit.
Take Short Breaks
Take 5 to 10 minutes every hour, away from your workplace. Stare out of the window; make a cup of tea; lift some weights; eat a banana; let your mind refocus before you start again.
Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks
This will depend very much on personal taste. I tend to cook breakfast and enjoy it with lots of tea. Although my sons are grown and left home, I still tend to cook family size meals, often at the weekend, and store portions in tubs in the freezer. Most days I can retrieve one of them for lunch or dinner. I enjoy cooking with fresh vegetables as often as possible. And always have fresh fruit available.
If you are still looking for an idea on the type of business, you could run from home then carry on reading my blog and have a good look at this site for entrepreneurs.