Working from home can be a liberating experience. Free from the confines of dress codes, alarm clocks, and other people, those lucky enough to be able to do this have good reason to enjoy it. That all being said, working from home isn’t necessarily easier than working in an office or other workplace. In fact, it’s even more difficult in some areas like personal responsibility. When working from home, it’s important to take care of yourself so neither you nor your work suffers in an unstructured environment. Try these four things to ensure that happens.
Create a Home Office
While the temptation to simply work from the couch can be strong, it’s highly recommended that anyone who’s employed at home create a home office. Having a space you use mostly or exclusively for work helps you focus in a way parking in front of the TV with your laptop just won’t with the added benefit of letting you have all your work materials in one place rather than scattered across coffee tables or on the floor. Emulating the office space does come with some of the office risks, however. Office employees are some of the most often injured because they can develop back injuries from sitting for extended periods, as well as other related injuries. For that reason, set reminders to get up and stretch periodically throughout the day.
Make Room for Benefits
As most people who work from home are considered self-employed, it’s fairly unlikely the people who hire you will provide benefits. That’s why you need to remember to make room for them yourself. Pushing through and working even when you don’t feel like it can be admirable but not if it’s at the expense of your health. Just like any other job, remember to take sick days and time off when necessary to recover, otherwise, both you and your work will suffer. You’ll also need to be able to afford insurance for when you get sick, so plan in advance when you’re figuring out how much you need to work in order to make a profit.
Talk to Other People
A depressing amount of adult lives are wrapped up in work. This also means a large number of social interactions happen in the workplace. If you work from home, this means you’re missing out on this kind of stuff. Isolation can be bad news, so make sure you take time every now and then to talk with friends, meet new people, and be generally social. It’s good for you and makes for some well-earned time off in between jobs.
When working from home, it can be fairly easy to slack off or get distracted. Without the threat of a boss breathing down your neck, many tend to wander or ignore their jobs until the last possible second. While you can certainly allow yourself more freedom as a person working from home, it’s important to stay organized and on top of things to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Make a schedule for when you need to complete projects and plan out how much work you need to do (whether by the hour or by piece) in order to pay your bills and have something leftover.
Working from home is a dream for many, but don’t let it turn into a nightmare. Remember to take care of yourself and follow these four tips to ensure you can have a happy and productive working life.