Working from home can seem ideal but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Improper conduct on your behalf can bring about procrastination, squandered potential and more stress than you would expect. With that in mind, having an informed understanding of how you may better operate in the home-workspace can make your chances of success more realistic. Considering your tools, attitude and your environment both physical and social can make a world of difference in your work and wellbeing. If you’re feeling inclined to work from home, then keep an open mind and see how this can relate to you because here are 7 things to consider before you start working from home.
Having Good Technology and Tools Makes a Difference
They say a skilled craftsman never blames his tools. While that may be true, the modern workplace is ever-evolving and so is the method in which people communicate as well as consumer habits. The increasing demand for digital tools has turned into more of a necessity nowadays and the speed at which information is processed and transmitted in the working world makes for miles in a game of inches. As a remote employee, if you’re working 100% of the time from your computer, investing in a good laptop may help you to be more efficient and make your job easier for you. With a good laptop, you have high-speed processing, portability, and will have access to the same software, applications and programs that are offered with a desktop computer that can allow you to share your work as intended in an efficient manner. Once you have your base technology sorted, you can choose to invest in other tools such as job tracking software if you have identified any areas in your work process that could be further optimised to fit the reviewed vision of your work. You may not get this exactly right the first time, constant reviews of your process over time can reveal incremental changes to aid you and work towards what is the optimal operation.
You’ll Need to Be Well Disciplined
Working from home you have all the comforts of home, as well as all the distractions. Procrastination becomes a real threat to your work productivity and can induce stress, guilt, anxiety and in more serious cases afflictions like depression. It’s quite self-explanatory that acting in a disciplined manner while working from home is beneficial for you and your work life in many ways. While some people are more naturally inclined towards procrastination, the results will never be perfect. However, using tools such as employee time tracking software can help decipher some of the mental blocks that cause one to procrastinate. The aforementioned time tracking software isn’t to deny you the comforts of home, but help you track and manage time in a way that is optimally beneficial. Working in achievable segments that you have agreed upon for yourself in a more precise manner, enables you to incrementally tackle potentially tall tasks instead of dreading a monstrous mountain of work that would cause a reasonable person to steer clear of. With this chunk of work taken care of, you even treat yourself to an episode of your favourite show with a warm beverage in your hands.
Having a Dedicated Work Space Can Be Key
While it may be tempting to do all of your work from the comfort of your bed, having your own designated work space can be the key to being the most efficient. Your environment affects your mind and so dedicating a room or workspace to specifically working from home will help you get yourself in the mindset to work. Working on your bed can be comfortable, but you run the risk of muddying your mind with thoughts and feelings toward relaxation time. It’s been long established hearing the masses preach about not mixing business and pleasure, but business and leisure can prove to be the calling card of procrastination. Try separating the two physically and you may see a huge uplift in productivity when you’re working and better relaxing time!
Working From Home Doesn’t Always Mean It’s Suitable For Childcare
Being around doesn’t always mean that you’re present. This can be especially true if you’re thinking that working from home suddenly means that you’re fully capable of giving a child all the love and care that goes into raising them. Regularly seen amongst young mothers, this behaviour and line of thinking can be denigrative to the well-being of both parties. Having the humility to confront your cognitive and temporal constraints by perhaps extending childcare to a trusted party can amend any limitations that befall you or the children. Doing so may leave you less distracted from your work and the child can now be given the time and attention that they deserve.
It May Be Difficult to Set Boundaries With Friends and Family
A common misconception that you might face while working remotely is that friends and family might assume that you’re on a bit of a holiday. This can be a quite innocent misunderstanding where they might think that you have lots of time at your leisure to spend hanging out, when this may simply not be the case. It may be in your best interests to set boundaries with your friends and family and assure them that although it is your home, it is also your workplace and to conduct their communication with you respectfully during certain hours and to treat you as if you are working from a corporate office. This is to imply that they defer their expectations of you until a time that is more acceptable and to clear up any confusion that may be surrounding your availability.
You May Feel Isolated at Times
As a worker who calls their home their workplace, you have essentially adopted the responsibility of becoming the business that you bring with you. This obviously comes outside the confines of a professional office. With these privileges absorbed a certain set of responsibilities towards the state of your social wellbeing is best remained present, for the dynamic elements that an office environment provides may lack presence at home such as communication with others and time for lunch. Allowing yourself time for self-care may seem a selfish affordance if the perceived threat of procrastination looms, but this is no trivial matter and the understanding that this can ultimately be an investment in the betterment of your performance can help you realise your goals. Now with the serious stuff out of the way, you can exercise or introduce something new to your routine like going for a reasonable walk around the neighbourhood (which can be pretty rewarding in and of itself!).
Working From Home Does Not Mean You Work Less
It isn’t that escaping the work environment means that you escape the responsibility brought upon by your work. Imagine going on holiday to a tropical island with a friend but you have to write reports while they can explore at will. The differences in the experience are obvious. Regardless of your location, you have an obligation to complete at least the bare minimum. Management of your time could allow you to experience wonderful things while completing your work but avoiding it doesn’t mean that it has disappeared. In fact, you are tying yourself down to a much more constrained period. You are working unsupervised and so sometimes you may even work more to prove to your employer that you are working the agreed amount. What would otherwise be concerted office time can be elongated without supervision due to you operating to your own process and so this may end up taking longer than what is considered a working day as agreed upon in the office. When done correctly, you can profoundly hone your craft.
Working Remotely Pros and Cons
Working from home presents many challenges and opportunities. After weighing up the good and the challenges that this presents, you may decide that working remotely is a suitable fit or that it might not be for you. There is a lot to consider and so to summarise, an illustrated look at the pros and cons of working from home.
|No commute||Requires discipline|
|Work hour flexibility||Unsupervised work hours|
|Freedom of decision making||Reduced collaboration|
|Choice of equipment||Personal monetary investment|
|Choice of work environment||Undefined work environment|
|Freedom of association||More direct personal distractions|