Five Rules Of Working From Home
Do you plan to work out of your home, someday? If you do, there are a couple of tricks or rules that you may want to adhere to. Working from home isn't as easy as you may think. There are a lot of pitfalls: from the way people respect your time to your level of motivation. I started working from home in 2008 and the result has been highly rewarding. One of the toughest things to do, however, was to set my rules. Here are the guidelines that I like to follow.
SET A SCHEDULE
Probably one of the most important things you can do. You need to know when you are going to get up in the morning, get ready for the day, and be open for business. If you leave this to chance, then you are going to find that you are getting up later and later. You will put projects to the side to do later. Typical after work hours will now become the norm for you and your job will suffer. On the other side of this, make sure you also set a time to quit for the day. It is easy to be a work horse and find yourself up at 3:00am, but this won't help you either. Once your customers begin to know that you are up late hours, they will start calling or emailing you with requests. The system breaks down and you will eventually lose control.
DRESS UP AND BE READY
The business owner that works all day in their pajamas doesn't take his job seriously. You need to wake up, shower, brush your teeth and hair, and put on your business clothes. This doesn't mean you have to sit in your home office in a suit and tie, but you certainly shouldn't be in a robe at four o' clock in the afternoon! I find I get my best work done when I am wearing my shoes and socks. I don't know the reasoning behind it - it's most likely psychological - but when my shoes are on I concentrate better at the tasks at hand and I get the job complete!
AVOID OUTSIDE INTERRUPTIONS
OK. Take note of this one. Working out of your home is an open invitation for the outside world to distract you. Troubles will arise when you friends or family members think it is all right to call you at anytime and try and talk to you for an hour. Facebook, video games, or internet browsing can take up your whole day. Remember: When you are surfing for YouTube videos, you are losing money. Work when it is time to work. Enjoy yourself after hours. Those things will still be there after you make your quota for the day.
TALK TO PEOPLE
While you shouldn't talk to your friends and family, you need to be networking and bringing in new business. It's easy to get caught in the shut-in trap. You get busy on a project and the next thing you know, it's been three days since you've spoken to anyone. Without communication, you can frighten your customers who will wonder about your progress. Additionally, you are going to go stir-crazy without talking to people. Make it a habit of keeping in contact with your customers on a daily basis. Seek out other customers by calling them. You never know when that next project is around the corner and without that call money can be falling through your fingers!
In my home business, I sometimes work from my living room or in my office area. It just depends on what I am doing and how much I need to concentrate on the task at hand. It also depends on who is home with me. We have a rule at my house: If the office door is closed, then I am busy working on a project and should not be disturbed. I have three phone lines. If I am in the office, I use only 2 of them. If our home phone rings, it can wait until I am done. Likewise, I work until 5:00pm. If the office phone rings after that hour, I let it ring. People understand that you have office hours. If they don't, they learn. Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course. Some clients are in a different time zone and you have to accommodate the fact they can be three hours behind your schedule. You just have to make sure that your boundaries are set between your home life and your work life and things will become easier for you.