The growing number of people who work at home is increasing every year. Could this mean that working at home will be the future of work as some claim it will be? Let’s leave that question to the experts. For work at home folks like myself, here are a few important tips to make your time at home and at work worthwhile and productive.
Before you give up that day job, make sure you are all set to work at home. If you already are working at home but are finding it hard to maintain clients and stay focused, these tips will help you rise above that stage and get to a new level where you can really be productive.
3 Smart Strategies if you Work at Home
1. Setup Your Equipment
Before you start your first day or get your first client, make sure you have your equipment ready. Make sure your laptop is ready and working very well. You won’t have time to waste if it is slow and it’s definitely worth the investment to upgrade your equipment if you need to. You don’t want to waste time.
Another thing you need to ensure is that you wifi is running great and there won’t be issues. In certain types of work at home jobs, you will be uploading videos or even creating videos so you have to make sure your upload speed can handle the task you will be doing.
If you do not have a reliable internet connection, chances are, you will not finish your job on time and as efficiently as you want. Calls will be interrupted and clients will find it hard to communicate with you. Believe me, I’ve been there.
2. Determine Your Work Hours
Designate your work hours ahead of time so you know when you will be working and when you will have personal, fun time. If you don’t do this, your personal time will feel like you should be working and then you never get any down time with your family. Let your family (and friends who are likely to bug you because they have no idea of what you are doing at home) know that at certain hours of the day, you are not to be disturbed. I had a struggle with this for a few months when I first started in 2012, but when my family understood that what I was doing was real work like any other job, their cooperation was beyond exceptional!
If you want to work flexible hours, look for clients who understand that arrangement. The goal with flexible hours is to finish assigned tasks and complete the number of hours required each day at your designated work time. The good thing with having flexible hours is you get to vary your activity for the day. This will help you be more productive and not feel like you’re stuck in a boring routine.
If you prefer fixed hours of work, you can find clients who will require you to work with them only during their business hours. So, if you and your client live in different countries, you are most likely to work at night, mid-day, or early morning. I usually take both types of clients. It helps me be on my toes.
3. Designate a Work Space
This will have a lot to do with your preference. In my case, I work wherever I have space I can put my computer on – in the kitchen, in my bedroom, in the living room, or even in the bus while traveling. I even had times when I had to work in the hospital beside my child.
Don’t get this wrong. Clients want their hires to be professional and to be able to work without distractions. That’s why you have to decide which types of jobs you want to take on. Some jobs call for a little more formality especially when you are required to take inbound calls or make outbound calls.
Here’s what I do – if I’m working on my writing jobs, I usually like to get inspiration by going out or talking to people, or even watching a movie (it doesn’t matter what type of movie) before I write. Sometimes, I needed to get some sleep and do my writing when I wake up. So this setup is informal.
What about formal setups? For my formal setups where I need to take calls, I have designated work hours like 1PM to 6PM Eastern Standard Time. I make sure I get some rest before my scheduled shift. I also have two kids who may be distractions so at least one hour before my shift, someone has to be at my house to look after them while I work.
So, these few tips worked well for me. I hope it works for you, too! Remember, your clients deserve your very best. If you cannot commit to their projects, you won’t be able to able to experience the benefits of working at home.
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