Many friends tell you that they envy you for working at home, and on better days, you love the idea of “subtly” flaunting your job to them. On bad days though, you’re more likely to be screaming your head off or breaking down in tears from a single critical remark from your client. Apparently, you realize, working from home is not all it is cracked up to be.
According to recent data, the number of Americans working from home has increased to 41 percent more since 1999; 69 percent of start-ups are birthed and run from home; and more people are working from home too at least once a week. Multimedia and IT moguls are also known for working at home. Thus, if working in pajamas and from home are not stopping them from reaching their goals, then these things shouldn’t be a problem for you.
While working from home seems motivating for office drones to jump over to the other side of the fence, some telecommuters would warn against it. It’s true that while you can work in last night’s clothes, working from home has its own challenges. Here are some hurdles that most work-from-home workers face every day as well as the ways to overcome them:
With no boss or HR personnel to keep tabs on you all the time, you can pretty much do anything you want on your supposed work shift. And distractions come in many forms: from social media to that latest episode of your favorite TV show. Do not cave in to temptations and stick to your work tasks.
Working at home may take some getting used to too and it’s hard not to procrastinate, given that you associate home with rest, family and play. But if you really need to focus, you have to come up with a game plan like creating a work schedule or makeshift office that will surely get you in the zone during your work hours. Bored or in a slump? Have a change of environment by working at a nearby café or outdoor garden.
Last but not the least, set boundaries and respect them! Do not allow yourself or others to bother you when you’re working. There’s a time for you to respond to chats, emails, text or phone calls from colleagues, friends or loved ones, and that’s after you’re done with work.
We’ve heard peers who work at home complain of burnout from time to time. Since life and work share the same physical space, it may hard for some people to draw the line—a line they themselves must observe. As said previously, learn to set boundaries. Allot a time for work, getting connected and rest. Then at the end of the day, disconnect. Turn off the computer and get some rest. Go out with friends if you may. Have fun and de-stress.
It’s either you feel alienated or you have alienated some people from your life from working at home. Again, this predicament also stems from losing your boundaries. You lose boundaries, procrastinate and or can’t separate work from your personal time, and it all goes downhill from there. Balance working alone and at home by interacting with people. (The fact that you work from home actually gives you more time to connect with people.) Use that time to network, see friends, or meet with remote co-workers for a quick lunch or dinner. Use social media to chat with friends or join networking groups or online communities that conduct regular weekly or monthly meetings. You may also want to share an office space with someone downtown if you’re open to the idea.
Being mindful of how you use your time as a stay-at-home worker can help you become the successful contractor or business owner you want to be. Keep yourself updated of career trends and job tips by visiting our blog. You can also download our free career guide to explore your career options.