Imagine being able to work in the comfort of your own home, without having to sit at an uncomfortable desk for eight hours a day and braving nightmarish traffic on the commute home afterwards. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Working from home comes with these benefits and more. But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Work from home professionals face many different challenges as well—boredom, un-productivity, and a lack of work-life balance, just to name a few. Here are a few tips on how to make working from home easier:
Consider Renting a Coworking Space
Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to gain a fresh perspective and feel rejuvenated. Being a work at home professional means you can work literally anywhere, but public spaces like parks and coffee shops usually have a lot of distractions. Instead, try logging on to a site like thecommondesk.com and renting a virtual office.
Coworking spaces are all the rage amongst freelancers and work at home professionals these days because they offer comfortable, fully-equipped facilities that are perfectly conducive to productivity. Common Desk has several locations, including a Fort Worth virtual office and sites in Dallas and Plano.
At a coworking space, you won’t be distracted by noisy coffee shop chatter or misbehaving pets or children. You can work in peace in the company of other like-minded, driven individuals, and you can even have the chance to network and make valuable business connections.
Draw the Line
When you work from home, the lines between your professional life and your personal life can become awfully blurry. Clients often get the wrong impression that because you’re not a “typical” employee, it means you can be on-call 24/7. Sometimes your home life will intrude on your work life in the form of your children or your significant other knocking at the door to ask for help with homework or a household chore.
It’s up to you to set clear boundaries between your work life and your personal life. Set a specific schedule for working and make sure your clients and your family understand and respect these times. Household chores and errands will have to wait until after your work schedule, and don’t make it a habit to answer emails or phone calls after working hours.
Don’t Neglect Your Social Life
You know what they say about all work and no play. As mentioned above, working from home makes it all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to be available to work all day, every day. Doing this will only lead to stress, burnout and demotivation.
Don’t be afraid to take a couple of days off every week to spend quality time with your loved ones and friends, to do your hobbies, or to simply relax and binge-watch your favourite series on Netflix. Having a balanced lifestyle helps keep you sane and focused so you can be productive come crunch time.
Working from home usually means you don’t have a manager breathing down your neck or an assistant to remind you of deadlines and appointments. Learn to organize your calendar and make lists to keep track of important dates, deadlines and meetings. There are plenty of productivity apps and programs that you can download onto your smartphone or computer to keep you organized and efficient. These will also help you manage your responsibilities outside of work, like setting reminders to pick up your dry cleaning or to make a grocery run.
Dress for Success
It may sound silly to get dressed up for work when you don’t have to face clients, customers or colleagues in person. But dressing up for work can put you in the right mind set and mentally prepare you for the day’s tasks, much like changing into appropriate workout attire just before you hit the gym.
At least one study suggests that wearing the right clothes can help you accomplish more and be more productive at work. Dressing up for work even at home also helps you establish boundaries between your professional and personal lives, as putting on your work clothes sends a message to the people around you that you’re about to get down to business.
While there are a lot of benefits to working from home, it also has its fair share of cons just like any other job. Hopefully these tips will help you better manage these challenges, and make working from home much easier.