There are many advantages to having your office at home including the general convenience of being able to have all of the comforts of home available to you. Then, there are the downsides. These include things like the number of distractions that are possible such as walking past your TV that has last night’s TV shows recorded on it and having to stop to watch it.
To succeed in working at home, you have to be a good self-starter. You have to be willing to work many hours, but know when to quit so you don’t burn out.
Here are three suggestions for making the working-at-home scenario the best possible option:
- Try to set up your home office in a separate room that has a door if possible. Make it an office and get rid of the TV and any other items that you wouldn’t have in a normal office environment.
- Set yourself some hours and try to stick to that as much as possible. Report to work (i.e. walk to your office) on time, take a lunch, and end at a certain point if possible. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put in the extra time needed to make your small business successful, but don’t overwork yourself.
- Get ready for work like you would if you were going to be around coworkers all day. Eat breakfast, workout, take a shower and get dressed like you would if you were leaving the house. Not to say that you have to put on a shirt and tie, but get dressed in comfortable “casual Friday” clothes to signify to yourself that it is time to go to work. This helps you get prepared for the work ahead and generally makes you feel better about yourself. Think of it this way: Would you be comfortable if someone took your picture and put it on the front page of the newspaper in what you are wearing?
Mainly, you should make sure that you are ready to work when it is time to do so and that you don’t take the opportunity to “work” at home as a means of slacking off. I’m not saying that you should treat your home office as you would an actual office space with coworkers, but you need to make sure you separate the two as much as possible.
—Aaron Montgomery, 2 Regular Guys, MontCo Consulting