How to Work Successfully From Home

The positives

Working from home can be a great thing if you can get organised and make it work well for your life.

  • If you have children you could save a fortune on childcare.
  • If like me you have dogs, you can save a fortune by not having to pay a dog walker and of course you’ll save a lot of money on travelling to work.
  • I save £130 a month on petrol, by not having to leave my house to work and I save £140  a month on childcare (only because my child is at school – for those with younger children you will save more). I also save £200 a month because I don’t have to pay the dog walker to walk my two Labradors.(can you believe I was paying more on a dog walker than on childcare!)
  •  I also spend less on clothes because although I still like to look smart when I go out, I wear comfy casual clothes at home to work in and don’t feel I have to keep up with my smartly dressed colleagues.
  • I save money by not having to buy lunches outside. Even a sandwich and drink is at least £3 a day whereas a bowl of soup at home is less than 50p.
  • I don’t need to pay a lady to come and clean my house twice a week because I used to be so exhausted I couldn’t face doing it when I got home.

The list of money you’ll save is dependant on your individual life but I think you get the point! So,these are the financial positives.

There are many other positives. You will be your own boss. You won’t be treated badly or unfairly by a boss you don’t like (though some on-line work can also be frustrating).

You can take care of your own house and garden, be available if your children are ill, make phone calls, appointments etc from the comfort of your home instead of trying to cram it all in at lunchtime or in between meetings.

We all have different lifestyles and expectations and we all have different circumstances so there is no one strategy fits all. However, I can offer you some tips that have helped make it work for me.

Get up!

If you have chosen to work from home because you have children then getting up early will not be a problem for you. However for single people this is an important piece of advice. When you work from home the temptation may be there to have a nice lie – in before starting work.  Whilst this is okay occasionally, if you do this too often you will seriously minimise your earning potential.

Get dressed!

I’ve read adverts and articles stating “work from home in your pyjamas” and I have to admit I find this idea abhorrent. To have a fresh mind, full of fresh ideas to use to generate whatever income plan you’re engaged in, you will need to get up, wash or shower, get dressed, have breakfast and then begin with a sense of purpose. Okay, you have the luxury of missing the dreaded traffic jams or journey to work but you still need to get organised.

Have a plan

Write down your plan and your goals. How much do you need to earn each week to survive? to live comfortably? to live well? Decide how much you are aiming to earn. Be realistic, especially at the beginning. Working from home usually involves building up income streams and a reputation. It could take months or even a couple of years until you’re happy with what you earn. With this in mind you need to have a definite plan of work. If you don’t, you run the risk of frittering away lots of time, surfing the net, chatting on the phone, reading magazines or whatever. Even if you have small children you need to have a plan. It may be that you only have an hour a day when they take a nap and most of your work is done in the evenings. If this is the case then don’t waste that hour doing laundry or other tasks. Have your computer switched on, paperwork ready and get going the minute the little one’s eyes are shut.

Discover how you work best

One of the benefits of working from home is that it’s supposed to be a more relaxed lifestyle. Getting rid of stress in your life has major health and relational benefits. You need to be quite a disciplined person to make it work properly but everyone has their own preference about where they like to work. For example, what works best for me is to change my position every hour or two. If it’s a nice day I may start off in the garden doing something I really enjoy such as writing an article, with a cappuccino at my side and my dogs at my feet. The dogs will have been walked and the washing hung out already so that I can focus on the job at hand.By the way I recommend getting a dog if you work at home. You’ll be there for them but also you’ll need to walk them and it forces you out in the fresh air with the benefits that brings of clearing your mind.

By 11 am I usually sit in my living room with my laptop and snuggle up for an hour or two doing bits and pieces.Then I have lunch.

Lastly, I get really serious as the clock ticks by and I go to my “proper” desk and sit for a couple of hours and really focus. I may have a scheduled lesson to do online with a pupil so I arrange this for a time when the house will be quiet and definitely before any children get home. Sometimes I do this in the evening also.

You must discover what works best for you. I hope this has helped you. Please comment as I am always interested in feedback