For many, the idea of working right from their own home may seem like a dream come true – and for some it is. But just as with any job, there are both pros and cons to working from home. In addition, having your own home based business may seem even better, because you not only get to work from home but be your own boss.
While there are a number of advantages to working at home, such as being able to work in your pajamas and having no commute, working from home can be a distraction as well. In addition, it can erode some of the healthy boundaries that naturally exist between personal life and work when you work in an office. Here are some great tips to help you achieve better work-life balance.
Create a Schedule
One of the most important aspects of running a home based business is having an established routine. Not only will having a regular routine help keep you motivated, but it will also help you keep your work time separate from personal time. As an added benefit, having a schedule will help you manage your goals by allowing you to set personal deadlines.
Set Up Your Workspace
Sometimes the things that seem like the best parts of working from home are actually the worst ideas. While reaching over for your laptop in the morning and working from bed can seem like a luxury, it’s not always the wisest idea. Part of keeping your work like and personal life separate is having a professional space set up where you keep and do all of your business. Not only is this important for work life balance, but it’s also a necessity at tax time. If at all possible, set up a dedicated room in your home and equip it with adequate lighting, office furnishings and all the tech equipment you might need.
Another one of the perks of working from home is the ability to spend all day in your pajamas. But once again, one of the best perks is also a bad idea. Remember that you don’t have a boss at work to motivate you, so you need to do what you can to keep yourself motivated. What you wear reflects how you feel and it can be hard to feel motivated running around in your pajamas and robe all day. While you certain don’t have to dress up in a business suit, wearing clothes you can at least leave the house in is a good idea.
There are many advantages to having a separate work and personal computer, particularly at tax time. If you can’t have completely separate devices, however, you should definitely have a separate account or profile on your PC. Browsing social media or playing games can be a powerful temptation when at work, so one of these accounts should have safeguards in place to limit your ability to do this.
Even if you have a separate, dedicated office space, dress for work and set regular office hours for yourself, it can still be difficult for your family and friends to act, respond and interact with you as if you were actually working in an office or had a “regular” job. This is why it is important to sit down and have a conversation with them about when you will and will not be able to interact and engage with them. This is particularly important when it comes to children who may not even understand the concept of work or working in an office. Remember, however, that if you want them to respect your work time, you need to respect the time you say will be set aside for them.
Take Care of Yourself
One of the advantages of working from home that is actually a healthy one, is the ability to eat better. You aren’t dependent on a vending machine for snacks or take-out for meals. This is a perk of working from home that you should most definitely take advantage of. In addition, whenever possible, try and get outdoors. Whether you work from your patio or deck or just take a break now and then to go take a walk or even a bike ride, working in an office can preclude you from some of these healthy luxuries you should most definitely take advantage of when working from home.
Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles to working from home is learning how to be as productive as you would in a regular office, without allowing work to take over your personal life. With a little bit of discipline, however, it really is possible to have it all.