In today’s business environment, more and more people than ever before and able to make the switch to working from home, and ever-increasing numbers of people are taking full advantage of that opportunity.
Among the people who benefit most from transitioning to working from home are parents who want to be more available for their children, but who would prefer not to surrender their professional lives without a fight.
The thing is, however, whether you’re setting out on your own and blazing a fantastic new trail as a home-based entrepreneur, or whether you’ve secured a cushy telecommuting arrangement with your boss, the home-based working lifestyle takes some getting used to.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for making the transition to working from home as smooth as possible.
Take care of all the home essentials
The first thing to do when setting up to work from home, is to make sure that your home is properly kitted out for all of your day-to-day needs.
No longer is the home just a place where you sleep between work and adventures it’s now the place where you’ll be spending most of your waking hours during the day. Any amenities that you need to maintain productivity, you need to find them here.
Part of this is just making sure that the most basic elements of your home are working correctly, and that any repair issues such as plumbing and gas mishaps are taken care of.
A bigger part, however, is making sure that your entire environment allows for a streamlined transition into work mode first thing in the morning.
You’ll need a fast and reliable internet connection, no question about it. If you depend on espressos to stay productive, then consider investing in an espresso maker. And if you find yourself riddled by allergies while trying to work, invest in a HEPA air purifier.
Establish a clear office space
While it’s sort of possible to work from your bed or sofa, these environments are in no way conducive to remaining productive and switching into “professional mode”. Sooner or later you’ll find that you end up yielding to the temptation to procrastinate more and more, or just struggle to get into the right headspace to get anything meaningful done.
And if you have young children at home, good luck convincing them that it’s not playtime all the time if you’re sitting on the sofa with your laptop. Setting up a dedicated office space allows you to literally and figuratively “close the door” on the world when working, and then psychologically leave work behind at the end of the day.
Master your schedule and use triggers to know when it’s time to call it a day
One of the major issues that faces all home workers is fighting to achieve a good work-life balance.
In a normal office job, you clock off at a certain time every day. When working from home, your work station is only ever a few feet away, and it can be easy to mix up your timing so that you’re never truly in rest mode, or available for your loved ones.
To get around this, be diligent with how you schedule your days, and use certain triggers to know when it’s definitely time to clock off.
These triggers could be a certain time of day — say 5 ‘o’clock, or when your kids or spouse return home from school or work.