Sick of the long commute to the office, want more flexible working hours? Want to be able to work from your spare room or couch as a freelance worker? Then home-working could be for you. With all of the digital technologies we now have at our finger tips, there have never been so many remote working opportunities available – spanning across all sorts of industries. But it’s not necessarily as easy as it looks, working from home that is. Here are some things to think about if you’re considering breaking off from the 9 to 5 office job.
Don’t work from your bed…
As tempting as it may seem, don’t snuggle up in your duvet with a laptop to do your work at home. You need to set aside a place in your house or apartment to work, like an office you would have in any other business. It helps to draw the line between home and work life – and get you in the right frame of mind.
Schedule your work
You need to be really disciplined when you’re working at home. It can be so easy to switch on the TV, or the radio, or make yourself something to drink, and before you know it, a few hours have passed by.
Set yourself a schedule of work for each day and deadlines, to help keep you on track. It’s also important though that you don’t burn the candles at both ends of the day – so keep your hours to a manageable rate. You don’t want to burn yourself out. It’s very easy to pound away on your laptop at home and absorb the time.
If you’re a freelance worker, you are the one who not only delivers the product – but also wins the clients! Working from home doesn’t mean you’re detached from the outside world, nor should you be if you want to keep busy and bring in money. Get online and market yourself. You might want to think about getting yourself a website. At the very least, you should be getting yourself some social media profiles, on LinkedIn for example – to network, feel like you’re part of a community and also to make new connections! You may also want to advertise your services, for example, working in data entry, on websites dedicated to virtual working – where employers can hire you from.
Get your paperwork in order
Running your own business, or being a freelance worker from home, means you’ll have to do all of your own paperwork! So, you need to make sure you’re well organized, with everything filed effectively – whether that’s in a folder on your laptop or physically on a shelf in your workspace.
It’s important you keep records of your documents, client contracts, invoices and so on. In some cases, it’s required by law. Also, remember to meet deadlines for submissions for things like tax, and pay whatever is due on time.
You’ll also want to think about getting some insurance, to support the services that you provide and to protect any expensive equipment you may be investing in to carry out your work.