More of us are working from home than ever before. Some of us commute between travel and home to do business. But, do you have what it takes to work from home?
While there are many different types of businesses operating from home offices, there are a few things that do not change when working from home. This article explains the mindset behind operating a successful home office business.
While this article is not all inclusive, it does cover what I believe are the most important inherent traits necessary to successfully operate a home office. I hope this information will help you to answer the question do you have what it takes to work from home?
The traits mandatory for successfully working from home include, but are not limited to:
- Time management
Do You Have the Discipline to Work From Home?
This is probably the most important value when working from home. A lot of people have the belief that working from home is easy. But, the majority of these beliefs come from false ideologies and dreamy ideas about how good it would be to be your own boss or how great it would be to work off a time clock.
Wow, speaking from experience, being your own boss and working off a time clock are the most misconstrued facts about working from home.
Being your own boss is a lot harder than you think. This is where the discipline comes in. You absolutely have to know what is expected of you and how you are going to deliver that expectation. In essence, you literally have to think from a supervisor’s standpoint and an employee point of view – all at the same time.
Knowing the quality of your work and how long it takes you to accomplish certain client requests is imperative in gaining the confidence of future business clients.
Many businesses fail because a person will overextend themselves with commitment and then for some reason or the other, are not able to follow through on that commitment. This can be devastating to your business. You will quickly lose clients if you are not accountable.
At times, discipline may require putting off going to the movies for the sake of completing a client request. This is very real and can conflict with your personal life if you do not plan accordingly. This is where many people fail, but with practice and perseverance, you can overcome this with practice.
Can You Set Boundaries For Your Home Office?
This is both a physical and a mental element of having a successful home office.
The physical boundaries include the ability to separate or close off your home office from any other area of your home. Do you have doors that you can shut and a specific area that you can go to, such as a desk, to complete your work from home?
If you do not have doors to your home office, then you will need some type of separation to indicate that your office is a separate area of the home that is to only be used for your working area.
You could also use a privacy screen or a cubicle that can be purchased at any home goods store. I would strongly suggest that your work area have the ability to be completely closed off from the rest of the house. This helps you to mentally transfer your thoughts from home to office when you walk into your home office.
Boundaries should also be set with family members, especially if you have children. Children should be schooled with regard to your working hours and when, and for what reason, they are allowed to interrupt you while you are working.
Of course, aside from an emergency, there should be criteria for the children to follow when they are in need of something. Naturally, depending on their age, children should always be in the company of a grownup if you are working.
Everyone’s situation is different, so the hard and fast rules are going to differ on the interruptions at home. But, I cannot stress enough that if you do not set boundaries regarding your work time and home time, you will end up not having enough hours in the day to complete your work.
Do You Have Time Management Skills?
This was mentioned earlier in this post, but I cannot stress enough the need for time management when working from home. There are so many potential interruptions and family issues that can interrupt you if you do not carefully manage your time.
I am a firm believer in always getting things completed before the deadline. I find that working on the plan for completing a project before actually starting the project is half the battle.
You have to think ahead about what is involved in the project and what tools you are going to need to complete the project.
Also, when putting together your time management plan you need to allot yourself a few extra hours of buffer time in case something unexpected happens.
There are still things that may interrupt your work from home that are completely out of your control. This could be a medical issue, a child has been hurt, a family member has died, etc. These are all things that we have no control over.
In summary, if you possess discipline, can set boundaries in your home environment, and have good time management skills, you will be able to answer the question “do you have what it takes to work from home?” with the answer “Yes.”