Updated June 2021

In this blog I will give you 4 tips to make working from home a success. Covid-19 has brought working from home forward by quite a few years and has made it the new normal. I personally think working from home was an upward trend anyway but there is no denying that Covid has helped this trend to progress a little faster. 

Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. I have been working from home running my business since September 2019 and on the whole have enjoyed it. I have enjoyed not having to commute, being more flexible with my time and being more available for my family. But working from home also has its challenges, for example you have to be disciplined to put in the work, there will be days you won’t want to do anything and you really have to motivate yourself.  It can also be quite lonely, which is something I have struggled with 

Working from home, running your own business, is not for everyone. I have discovered I had to put certain measures in place to make it work for me.

Let me explain!

Learn more:

Employee versus Employer Mindset

Mindfulness Routines For When You Are Working From Home

Set up a proper office

When I first started working from home, I didn’t have an office as such. I was working from my kitchen table, my sofa, the dining table, my bed but after a while I felt I needed to have a ‘proper’ space to do my work. So I set up a proper office, with a desk, a comfortable desk chair, filing cabinet and folders. This way I had a designated space for my business. Now some of you know that I go between two countries as hubbie works abroad so I have had to create two designated work spaces.

Having a proper workspace means you can close the door to distractions because, believe me, there are a lot of distractions when you are working from home. From having a dirty kitchen, to a pile of laundry that needs doing, to the postman or your neighbour knocking on your door to just name a few! 

Set your working hours

This is related to the previous point. When working from home you could be working every hour of the day but we all know that that is not good for stress levels and ultimately our mental health. So because you are your own boss you can and need to make sure you set  office hours!

Not everybody likes to work 9-5 and being your own boss means you don’t have to! If you are a morning person you can get the bulk of your work done in the morning. More of an evening person? Then you work in the evening! Do you have children and need to work around school drop off/pick up no problem. You are the boss so you can decide when you set your office hours but make sure you communicate them so your clients know them as well!

Get organised

Everybody works in different ways, however you need to make sure you have your work organised and work processes are in place to make the most of your time and therefore be most productive. 

For example, I batch my work. This means I set times to do certain tasks. This doesn’t work for everyone but I find this works the best for me as it means I need to concentrate on one thing. 

I also work with a to-do list, several actually. So I use Trello for my overall to-do list but good old pen and paper for my daily list. A BIG notepad works the best for me as I usually have ideas popping into my head while I am working. So as not to get distracted with the task I am doing, I note these ideas down to refer to later. 

Make time to see people

I think this is the one I have ‘struggled’ with the most but I do believe that is because of my situation. I am home alone, hubbie is at work and the teens are at boarding school. So most days I am by myself and do not really see anyone else. If you are the type of person who loves to be around people and loves the atmosphere of an office, then working from home might not be for you as being self-employed can be quite lonely. 

Fortunately, due to modern technology and social media, nowadays it is possible to have some sort of social interaction but of course it is not the same as face to face interaction. Another form of meeting people is to go to networking events. These can take place in actual venues or virtually. 

If you have a week with not many networking events, or meetings then it is always a good idea to schedule a meetup with a family member or friend for lunch or a cup of coffee. I tend to pencil these in about twice a week as it gets me out of the house!

Final thoughts

Working from home is not just working in your PJs at whatever time you please. It can be lonely and it is easy to become frustrated and unproductive. It takes hard work, motivation, dedication and perseverance to make it work. I hope the steps above will help you.

What is your experience of working from home?

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