For many working from home is not a dream, it’s a reality. Before you give notice to your current employer, there are a few things you should take into careful consideration to make sure that a home-based job is best for you.
Try it out on a smaller scale
If you have any doubts at all with things like whether or not you can make enough money or if you’ll be able to break free from the family to put enough hours in, you may want to try it out first. If you have vacation time available, take a week and give it a practice run. It may be that you can’t focus on your own or that you’re distracted with thoughts about things like your home and the children. Doing a trial before making the actual leap from the office to your home is time wisely spent.
A home office
If you work from home you will definitely need to have all the bells and whistles in place so that you can start work on your first day. In order to make money, you need a newer computer with a sufficient amount of memory and storage space. You also need to have access to the high-speed internet; otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of effort and money on a new computer that will not give you the results you expect. Since saving money is essential, you can try contacting your local cable company to see if they bundle services.
Companies such as Optimum TV also offer high-speed internet. If you sign up for both your cable and your Internet, you’ll save even more money. Also, you will need an all-in-one printer with faxing capabilities and a desk with plenty of room to spread out and keep your work organized. Last, but certainly not least, you need a comfortable chair. If you plan on sitting for 8 to 10-hours per day, you need one that offers support for all parts of the body including your back, legs, arms, and neck. You may want to visit a store and try a few out before making a purchase.
A designated area
Working from home requires the same commitment to work as if you worked in an office. With that said, you need to set up your office, preferably in a separate room, with a door. If you have limited space and simply can’t make that happen there are other ways to gain privacy and reduce the presence of distractions. For instance, a wall partition similar to those used by larger companies to create many workstations from one large area can also work for you. This will serve the same function as a door by closing off space.
If you decide that working from home appeals to you, you’ll need to have a talk with your family ahead of time. Make sure that everyone in your house understands that while you’ll have more time to spend with them, you will need to have alone, uninterrupted time to complete your work. If you have workaholic tendencies, you may develop the opposite problem, not being able to stop working. This is just as bad as not putting in enough hours as it reduces quality time with your family, the main reason you left your 9 to 5 job.
Organized, self-motivated and resilient
If you are a self-starter and never need anyone to organize files or tell you when something is more of a priority than another, working from home is a good fit for you. However, if you have trouble with focus and need someone to give you direction, then you may want to rethink your plan. Working from home means that you and only you will be responsible for the work done. There is no guaranteed salary so if you slack off it will hurt your financial wealth.
Making the decision to work from home is something you should think long and hard about. On the plus side, you are the boss, you make your own hours, and you can enjoy quality time with your family and never ever miss a holiday again. On the downside, you will have to remain motivated and dedicated to your work. You need to put in a certain number of hours to achieve a decent salary, and you have no sick or vacation pay. Many people are jumping on the work-from-home train to have the freedom to work when it’s convenient. If you are willing to put in the time initially, the future can prove to offer long-lasting rewards both with a good salary and more time than you ever thought possible with loved ones.
Photo credit: Jarek Kulik / Sean Dreilinger
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