More and more people these days are starting their own businesses and using their homes as their bases. More employers are also allowing their workers to work remotely from home some or all of the time. This has created a whole culture around working from home, and not all of what you read makes working from home sound especially good. The reality of working from home can take some getting used to, but you can definitely make it work for you, and it can give you the flexibility and productivity you want.
Here are five things you often hear about working from home that may be true for some people, but don’t have to be pitfalls you fall into in your own work:
People Who Work from Home Feel Lonely
If you are used to a job where you speak to lots of different people every day – for instance a customer facing role – or where you have a close knit group of work friends you talk to all the time, then switching to working from home may make you feel like you are missing out on interacting with other people. For some people this is actually desirable, as they work better alone and enjoy having peace and quiet and no distractions. If you are not one of these people, however, you are going to need some strategies to combat the feeling that you don’t get enough contact with people in your day.
Some people find that making phone calls helps, or even just talking on social media. However, if you find you want more face to face contact, then it can be a good idea to start making regular arrangements to go out for coffee, lunch, or after work drinks with friends, or to start doing something social in the evenings, whether it’s nights out, classes, or joining a gym.
People Who Work from Home Have Terrible Diets
Another common thing you tend to hear about working from home is that it can be really easy to get into bad habits with what you eat. It is true that if you aren’t careful, you can lose your schedule and end up snacking all day rather than eating proper meals. It can also be easy to get restless and raid the fridge.
All it takes to avoid this is to commit to keeping healthy routines while you work from home. In reality, working from home actually gives you more chances to eat good food, because you can prepare things easily in your own kitchen to eat. If you prepare things in advance and stock up on healthy snacks, make sure you take proper breaks at regular times to eat, and be mindful of what you eat while you work, then there is no reason to have any nutritional problems or gain weight while you adjust to your new working life.
Working from Home Means You’re Never ‘Off Work’
Some people who work from home complain that they never feel like they’re not in some way working. This can be an easy trap to fall into, but if you are aware of it, you can avoid it.
One important thing to do is work in a specific area you dedicate to only work. This way, whenever you are there you can be in work mode, but the rest of your home is still a place to relax and live. Another good idea is to try and stick to fixed hours. You may have to be flexible, but avoid putting things off until late in the evening just because it is an option. This way you can get more free time and try and avoid people expecting things from you out of normal hours.
A good work life balance is important wherever you work, and when you work from home, it is down to you to ensure you get it. Be firm with the people you deal with about the times you are available, and be firm with yourself about when you are and are not working.
People Who Work from Home Let Themselves Go
Lots of jokes are made about home workers working in their pajamas or forgetting to brush their hair for days. If you actually like the idea of being comfortable like that all day and not worrying about your appearance because you’re home alone, this is fine, but if you don’t feel good and ready to work unless you get properly dressed and ready for the day, then keep to your usual morning routine. You can be as relaxed or as smart as you want when you work from home, but if you find you haven’t showered for days because you haven’t left the house, then maybe you aren’t really taking the best care of yourself!
Working from Home Means Fighting Distractions
If you are prone to procrastination at the best of times, you may wonder how you will fare when you have nobody looking at what you are doing and all the distractions of home vying for your attention. This is another reason to have a dedicated working area where you sit down and focus. There is nothing wrong with taking breaks, and if you want to browse the internet, watch TV or engage in your hobbies during these times that is fine, but you may find you need to discipline yourself at first to avoid those distractions outside of break times. This will allow you to keep productivity up and still enjoy being at home.
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can avoid becoming a work from home stereotype, and be just as productive and healthy as you usually are once you have made the transition from working at a business site to working or running a business from home. Of course, if you actually like some of these things and can work well while you enjoy these aspects of being at home all day, this is fine too!