As our society evolves, having a home business becomes a more and more viable option. Most often, freelancers who work in the creative or online domains are those who no longer need to go to the office, and can set up at home. Even though this is a benefit, it also comes with many unique challenges.
A lack of organization can favor slacking off when it comes to self-care. While maintaining a healthy balance between your personal and professional life must be a goal for everyone, due to the challenges of home-based work, those who choose this lifestyle need to learn how to set their limits and some rules. Read on about the most common problems people face when working from home and how to overcome them.
Keeping your focus throughout the day is quite difficult even at the office, but at least the archaic workplace structure helps you keep pace. That morning coffee ritual gives you the edge you need for the entire day. At home, where your work is one step away from the place you sleep, it’s harder to get a head start. Without the physical habit of getting ready to go to work, it’s easy to waste time, which can significantly lower your productivity.
The solution is to spend a few minutes each morning on activities that help you plan the entire day and give you the necessary momentum: exercise a little bit, fill in a diary, set out a to do list for the day. These rituals diminish stress and help you become more productive.
Another important step to take is to register your business and make it a legal entity. This way, you will also have the responsibility that comes with it. Filling in all the paperwork and seeing your name put down as a business owner will shift your perspective. You will no longer be a mere freelancer. You will have obligations towards your company, even if you are the sole employee.
Where do you see yourself five years from now? Can you turn your business into an empire? With these questions in mind, you are bound to be in the best shape for work and stop slacking away in your pajamas.
Speaking of which, you should always dress appropriately for work. Even if nobody else sees or cares what you wear, this simple ritual gives you the motivation you need to be successful each day. There is no shame in sitting down to work in a smart pair of trousers and a jacket, and doing your makeup and hair. On the contrary, it will get you in the right mood from the very morning.
You’re more distracted than usually
Many things distract us. When you are alone, however, you have to build barriers between work and the sources of distraction on your own.
Create your own rituals to help you stay focused on your work. Close your phone or email for 45 minutes and focus on your current project. Afterwards, get back online. This way, your brain will understand when it is time to concentrate intensely. If you cannot do this on your own, there are apps that you can use – just block your social networks for several hours, lock the TV remote somewhere and don’t allow your home environment to get the better of you.
You feel like your work day is never-ending
Another disadvantage of a home business is that you feel that your work day never ends. If you work from home, it doesn’t mean you have to work 15 hours a day. You have to set up a work schedule, as you would have at any other job.
Set exact working hours. Don’t turn the advantage of working at home into the disadvantage of working over 55 hours a week. These guidelines of professional conduct must also include regulations on meetings, guests, phone calls and anything else that usually happens during working hours.
You start to gain weight
Being home all day can tempt you to have casual meals. Going into the kitchen can be common throughout the day, and you can even forget to get out of the house. Sedentarism is a huge problem, so you should schedule in times for snacks and then go out for a walk. In fact, one of the major benefits of working from home is that you can go for a walk before noon, when the sun is still out. Not something you can do while working the nine to five.
You can go outside to check your correspondence and stretch your legs when you know you have a lot of work. It is essential to do something to keep your energy at a high level. The English drink tea at five o’clock not because they are thirsty, but to help restore their rhythm. Find a similar habit that works with your schedule, and the way you operate.
You feel lonely
The social relationships that you have access to when you go to the office every day are harder to maintain when you work from home. That’s why it’s important to make efforts to revive your relationships.
Make time to keep in touch with the people you know, either by email, phone, text, or meet up with them – they will take these efforts into account and reach out to you as well. When you begin to feel isolated, you need to make a plan to establish relationships. Go to a football game even if you do not love this sport too much. Go to a nearby coworking space and have a cup of coffee with some of the people who work from there.
By following the above tips, you are bound to have a great experience working from home. Think about what issue is the most challenging for you and find ways to overcome it, before you start to resent your circumstances and start missing out on all the benefits of a home-based office.