Wondering how to work online from home and whether this opportunity is the right one for you? Though spending the entire day in your PJs may seem like an attractive possibility, work from home is also connected to some problems – isolation, excessive workload, the lack of defined work hours and the necessity to remain disciplined and productive.
Numerous people that give the work from home lifestyle a try figure out that it’s not right for them. If you’re determined to make full use of this possibility, you’ll have to prepare yourself and understand what limitations work from home brings.
I have been working online from home for the past three years and right now, I can’t imagine doing my job in any other way. A few months ago, however, I did go through mood swings and loneliness stemming from the lack of colleagues to interact with on a daily basis. Eventually, I did find a way to overcome these problems, make the most of the professional opportunity and be perfectly happy with it.
If you want to learn how to work online from home and enjoy this opportunity, the following article is just right for you.
Get Ready for Serious Change
Do you think that working online from home is going to be the same as doing any other kind of work? Think again!
You don’t have a team leader, which means that you’ll be responsible for project execution, communication with clients, administrative tasks and organizational work. It may seem like a tremendous workload and quite often it is. Make sure that you’re ready for this kind of commitment before getting started.
Lacking pre-determined work hours can also be a source of confusion. Some people find themselves incapable of being disciplined and spending enough time doing their job. Others find themselves working more than 15, 16 hours per day. It could go either way but both of these mistakes will decrease productivity.
How to work online from home and be efficient? It all depends on your goals and the strategy that you find to be most suitable. Some people are productive for a couple of hours per day, others need to do the 9 am to 5 pm routine. Some need to get dressed and recreate the office experience, others will be comfortable working in their pajamas. It’s up to you to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Biggest Mistakes Committed by Professionals Working from Home
If you’ve just started working from home, chances are that you’ve committed a number of mistakes. Nearly all professionals that offer services to clients online go through the same process. Here are some of the most common mistakes:
- Reading emails 24/7: do you wake up in the morning, feel around for your home and read your emails before brushing your teeth? That’s a really bad idea that decreases productivity. Try to differentiate between your personal and your professional life (though it may seem impossible in the moment). Check the emails once you sit in front of the computer and start the work day.
- Having many distractions in your home: working from home is often connected to distractions. The TV is on, your dog wants to go for a walk or play, there’s loud music on or you hear other kinds of noise. Try to create a workplace environment that helps you focus and do your best.
- You don’t get up from the computer: do you find yourself glued to the computer throughout the day? Forgot to have lunch today? It’s important to leave your little work area every now and then. Get a breath of fresh air, go out for a quick lunch. Spending hours and hours in front of the computer will quickly contribute to the loss of productivity, especially if your job is connected to creative output.
- You interact with your partner/kid/roommate: yes, that’s a big mistake. Loved ones count as a distraction, especially if you have to deal with a highly complex project. Let the people that live with you know that you are “at the office.” They should refrain from distracting you with everyday conversations or questions about things that could be postponed to later.
Dealing with the Isolation
Going from the office environment to being on your own can be very difficult, especially if you are an extrovert that likes having numerous people around.
If you want to learn how to work online from home, you’ll have to first learn how to be on your own. This aspect of being a freelancer will probably seem like a blessing in the first few days but a couple of weeks later, you’ll start feeling somewhat lonely.
Compensate for the lack of coworkers by participating in the social activities you enjoy. Start working out at the local gym and you’ll easily make some new friends. Join a craft or a hobby club. Spend more time with your friends or begin dating actively. Compensating for the lack of daily professionals interactions could be much easier than you would have ever expected it to be.
A Few Additional Tips
You need to keep several other essentials in mind, if you want to be a successful work from home professional.
The quality of equipment that you use matters. Don’t try to make your old and tired laptop work, buy a new piece of hardware. Investing in some new equipment is going to be an investment in your professional future. Consider the purchase of any software that will simplify your daily tasks – communicating with clients, keeping track of progress, accounting or anything else that you need to do.
Stick to a daily work schedule and you’ll soon notice how your productivity is going to increase. If possible, write tasks down in the beginning of the week. If not, prepare the schedule for the coming day in the end of the current workday. Knowing what kinds of tasks you’ll soon have to deal with is going to help you spend your time in the best possible way.
Accept the fact that you’ll have days during which you’ll have to deal with tons of work and days during which you’ll be 100 percent free. It’s up to you to make the most of these work-free days – spend time with family, relax, look for new projects or begin working on the projects that you’ll have to deal with in the days to come.
Still wondering how to work online from home? You’ll get lots of additional ideas and some useful tips in my book How to Make Money Online: Starting Your Own Web-Based Business. You can find out more about the book and the possibilities for purchasing it here.