There are plenty of telecommuters and entrepreneurs working from home these days, and they are making a decent living out of it. Setting up an home office can save a new entrepreneur a lot of money, and allow him or her to put in more quality work hours. Of course, you need to be able to stay motivated and productive if you want to reap the benefits that a home office offers, and it certainly has some downsides. While being proactive and not wasting any time on achieving your goals is important when doing any kind of business, you should never mistake impulsiveness for initiative. Before you decide to start building a career from the comfort of your own home, you should consider a few important points first.
1. Invest in Your Home Office and Turn It into a Professional Workspace
The biggest mistake people working from home make is setting up a desk in the corner of the bedroom or living room, and having no way of effectively cutting themselves off from their private family life when they need to work. You should choose a room, or at least an area that is somewhat secluded, to be used specifically as your office, and you need to make it look the part. This will involve some small home renovations, like repainting a room, and getting some new furniture, cleaning up the attic, investing in a better internet connection, and installing an effective air conditioning unit. I’ve had some experience with Aussie telecommuters, and I’ve found that the best thing to do is to avoid DIY solutions, and go straight to the pros. You want to make sure that you are hiring a capable professional to help with the necessary renovations and repairs. The simplest way to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company is to perform an online license check and see if they are a legitimate business. A good computer with all the necessary peripherals, a decent desk and an office chair, a filing cabinet and some office supplies can turn out to be a substantial investment as well, but it is well worth getting the best equipment you can get based on your budget. I’d say that the chair will be the most important piece of equipment, as you will be sitting for hours on end, so don’t try to cut corners when choosing your office furniture.
2. Dress as You Would If You Were Going to Work
Staying concentrated and productive is all about your mindset. If you spend half the day in a bathrobe or your pajamas, what you are essentially doing is telling your brain that you are in “relax mode”, and have all the time in the world to get things done. You don’t want to be under constant stress, but it’s important to have some sense of urgency, and dressing like you were expecting company makes things seem more serious. There is no need for a three-piece suit, as comfort is also important, but you should definitely look presentable. The same goes for your hygiene – make an effort to shave, comb your hair and feel fresh.
3. Setting a Work Schedule Helps You Stay Focused
Telecommuters don’t really have a choice, since their boss will monitor their activity, but freelancers and entrepreneurs can find all that freedom difficult to deal with. It’s true that some people can do more work on a more flexible schedule, but for most, it’s best to stick to set working hours. This won’t only provide you with a focused state of mind, but it can also help you deal with the outside distractions, like people calling you up during the day, kids running into the office, and so on. Once you go into the office, you are at work, and everyone needs to respect your privacy, including yourself. Taking occasional breaks is fine, but try to stay in the zone, and don’t let yourself get distracted – it’s very easy to lose an hour or two on random chores – you can deal with personal stuff when you have clocked in enough work hours first.
All in all, if you are a focused and responsible individual, you will be able to set up a good home office and keep your productivity high, although the project will require an investment. You’ll need to consider these points, and make a good plan of attack if you want to make the most of it.