February 1, 2018
Working from home can provide you with the lifestyle that you have always craved. You can work the hours that you are paid to, rather than wasting a couple of precious hours of the day commuting, and if you are self-employed, you are able to pick and choose the work that you undertake. However, there are some aspects of employment that you do need to carry over into your home-working environment to ensure that it continues to help your lifestyle and success, rather than hinder it.
Are you sitting comfortably?
In a workplace, there are stringent health and safety regulations that govern your workplace safety. By law, your employers must ensure that they are doing everything they can to ensure that the working practices meet prescribed ergonomic standards so that you avoid harm. Bad posture can give you long-term health problems, and so you must ensure that your workspace is designed ergonomically to help you maintain your health while working in a sitting position.
Solution: have a set space for working in. You may not have a room for exclusive office use, so make sure that the desk or table that you sit at and the chair that you use are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort for prolonged periods of sitting. Take frequent breaks to stretch your legs.
You may have thought that working in your pajamas was a prerequisite for working from home; however, it is important that you continue to look professional even if you don’t see anyone all day. You don’t need to wear a suit, but just apply some care to how you present yourself – think of the clothes you wore for casual Friday in the office – casual but professional.
If you look and feel professional, this will be evident in the work that you complete. If you are occasionally customer facing, you must think of the image that you are presenting. If you use Skype or an equivalent for communicating with clients, you must pay attention to the background that your client or colleagues will see: nobody wants to see your laundry drying! If you go to meetings, make sure that your car is clean and represents you as a professional.
Solution: have a set of clothes that you wear for work alone. This will allow you to feel business ready without the associations of leisure that some garments may give you. The image that you portray is essential if you are customer facing, so if your car is old and unreliable, look at professional used cars that won’t break your budget but will benefit your professional image.
You may have thought that you had escaped clock-watching by working from home; however, it is essential that you manage your time effectively so that you can benefit most from working from home. You do not want to be taking on jobs that do not provide you with adequate profit in relation to the time that you are spending on them, and the only way to calculate this is by recording the time that you are spending on certain jobs.
Solution: identify the key tasks that you are performing and use them to populate a simple table that you can record how long these tasks take and the money that you earn from doing them. After a period of time, you will be able to calculate which tasks are your more profitable, and which ones are less so.