Working from home can seem like a dream come true for most people. The reality, however, is very different. If you aren’t disciplined, you are more likely to be less productive and get caught up in a number of health and social issues that a lot of us take for granted. This post examines some of the important things to help you turn your work-from-home dreams into a practical reality.
Set Aside a Designated Work Area
A lot of us would like to believe that we’d be just as productive working in bed hunched over our laptops. While this may sound cozy and ideal, it may lead to back problems down the line such as scoliosis as well as muscle aches and cramps in no time. Create a section in a room in your house and put your desk, chair and laptop in this area and make sure to stick to it. Don’t be tempted to take your laptop with you to your bedroom for just one hour since this will eventually set you down a slippery slope of bad work hygiene. A great reason why you should set aside a work station is that you can claim tax deductions on it according to the IRS.
Schedule Social Time
Working from home may be ideal for introverts who may not have the need to interact regularly with other people. However, if you’re somewhere in the middle or are extraverted but still want to telecommute, you may want to pencil in one or two lunch dates with friends to catch up on office cooler gossip or simply check in on how your friends are doing. In addition, since working from home provides you with work flexibility, you may want to consider going out more and trying out different activities that you’ve been meaning to get into in the past such as visiting museums, trips to the farmer’s market or simply joining a 1 hour a day Bikram Yoga class.
Pay Attention to Your Finances
Individuals who work from home may have some spare cash at the end of the month compared to those that have to work in an office. This is usually because you won’t have to worry about commuting costs as well as how much that office lunch cost an arm and a leg. In addition, you may be able to do extra work on the side such as being a virtual assistant or consultant, all of which bring in extra income. It’s prudent to get yourself a good CPA who can look at your books and recommend what to do with the extra cash as well as other ways of saving money.
In addition, you can use various online tools such as:
Take Time Out to Exercise and Replenish
Working from home can be demanding on the body. Sitting for long periods of time can cause you all sorts of aches and pain. It’s a good idea to take up yoga or low impact exercise such as walking once or twice a day if you can hack it. By keeping yourself in top condition, you’ll be able to be more productive and enjoy the whole work-from home experience.
With a bit of discipline, flexibility and focus, you can turn a telecommute situation into something that you can do for years to come.