For those of us who are in full time employment, the urge to escape the rat race and become self employed can be irresistible – especially if the change of career would entail working from home.
Yet is the dream of millions a reality to just a few?
Working from home can be the ideal way to make a living – if you are the right person for it. But the home environment can present its own assortment of problems, which need to be overcome if you are to maximise your chances of success in your new career.
If you’re about to set yourself up working from home, or if you’re already doing so, try reading through the following four points. They could help you to make better use of the home working environment.
1. A place to work.
One of the problems of working from home is that the line between working and relaxing can become blurred. The ideal workplace is a room set aside for business purposes only, though for many of us this simply isn’t possible.
The obvious alternative is to convert part of a room into a work station – a corner of the living room, or a bedroom, perhaps. Whatever location you opt for, it should be somewhere relatively free from distractions, such as the television or radio.
Don’t forget, the line between work and play can be a thin one when you’re working at home, and making that dividing line as clear as you can will limit distractions and be beneficial to your productivity.
2. Good organisation.
Too much valuable working time can be lost through hunting around for that invoice that arrived yesterday, or the stamps you bought but didn’t file away as soon as you got home.
A well organised workplace will erase this sort of problem almost entirely, giving you more time to concentrate on expanding your business and making it work for you – not the other way around.
Stationery and files you use and refer to regularly can be kept close at hand; other items which you use less often can be stored safely elsewhere until you need them. Incidentally, the small steel storage cabinets you often find in DIY shops are ideal for storing paper clips, pins, stamps, etc.
It’s well worth spending some time assessing your needs in this respect, in order to utilise the space you have available in the best way possible.
3. Making the most of your day.
Another advantage of being a ‘home worker’ is being able to set your own hours. Now is the time to get away from the monotony of the usual nine to five routine and choose which hours suit you best.
If, like me, you’re naturally a late person, you will probably find yourself able to work better and more productively during the afternoon and evening. Early risers will no doubt prefer to get the work over and done with nice and early, leaving a relaxing evening ahead of them.
We all have our own individual body clock. Once you’ve discovered yours, you’ll be able to put an end to the early morning or late night blues.
4. Setting a timetable.
Having tuned into your body clock, it’s a good idea to set yourself some sort of timetable. This can be as basic or as detailed as you like, depending on your career and individual needs.
If your work frequently takes you out and about, you may choose to run your errands first thing in the morning – after doing the shopping, or dropping the kids off at school, perhaps – and work indoors later in the day.
Take into account your family’s needs as well. If you like to work in complete silence, and you have young children arriving home from school at three thirty in the afternoon, adjust your timetable to suit. Perhaps you could do some work in the evening instead, after they’ve gone to bed.
As I mentioned earlier, working from home can be the ideal choice for many people. The key to being successful is to take advantage of being your own boss, and thus make the most of your situation and surroundings.
Once you’ve done that, the lifestyle that millions dream about could be an exciting reality for you.