Working from home has its pros and cons and isn’t always as easy as it sounds. You may think it’s all sitting in front of Netflix with your laptop and not getting dressed until lunchtime, but it’s not quite that easy.
Whether you work from home full time, or just spend a few hours blogging, there will be challenges associated with working by yourself. Distractions, loneliness and boredom to name just three.
However, if you can solve these issues, working from home can be an amazing opportunity that will help with the whole work-life balance most of us are searching for. If you have kids, working from home makes attending those school plays and doing the school run so much easier. You can also be in for deliveries, when you have an engineer to fix your boiler, and of course if your kids are sick you don’t have to ask for time off.
So what’s the secret to working from home successfully?
If you work from home currently or are planning to go freelance soon, here are my 6 tips to make working from home work for you…
Have a routine
If you’re a mum then you’ll probably already have a morning routine, even if you don’t have to leave the house to get to the office.
Make sure you still set an alarm, have breakfast and get dressed to start your day off productively. This allows you to be awake enough when it’s time to start work and puts you in the right frame of mind.
Set up your workspace
Having a dedicated area in your house to work from really helps to keep you focused and productive. Set up a desk away from the TV, ideally where you can’t see other areas of the house that may need cleaning.
Keep your desk tidy and surround yourself with things that inspire you, whether that’s family photos, motivational quotes or prints of exotic places you want to visit.
You can want to consider creating a paperless workspace, this can help you to avoid distraction as well as giving yourself more room to work.
Make sure the rest of your family know it’s your workspace and to leave it alone!
Turn off your phone
Obviously not a good plan if you’re expecting work calls, but if you’re not it can be a good way to stay focused and stay productive when working from home.
We all get distracted by social media, text messages or online shopping so turning off your phone removes the temptation.
If you do need to keep your phone on, just move it out of arms reach so you won’t be tempted to keep checking the screen but can still hear it ring if needed.
Don’t spend all week alone
One of the biggest issues freelancers face is getting lonely or bored being at home on their own all day, especially if you’re used to being in a busy office.
You could attend local networking events, this also gives you amazing opportunities to meet potential clients.
If you don’t want/need to network you could hire a desk in a shared office space for a day a week. As well as having people around you for company, it may also help inspire you with new ideas.
If you don’t want to network and can’t afford to hire a desk, you could just head to your local coffee shop with your laptop for a couple of hours.
Set your own working hours
Your working hours will depend on how much work you have, and the beauty is that you can set hours that suit you. You no longer need to work 9-5!
Have a set time for lunch so you know when you can take a break and get anything non-work related done.
If you do the school run in the afternoon, start a bit earlier to make sure you can concentrate on the kids when you get back home.
Set yourself a schedule
As you may have seen from other posts of mine, I’m all about the lists and schedules! It’s the only way I can remember what I need to do.
Get yourself a diary or use an online to-do list such as Trello, and plan out your week. Do this on a Friday afternoon so come Monday morning you’re ready to hit the ground running.
You might want certain days to work for a particular client or a set time each day to reply to emails to make phone calls.
When you work from home you can create your schedule around your life.
Do you work from home? What have you found most difficult about it and what do you enjoy the most?
If you work from home, do you have any tips for working remotely for other work at home mums? If so, leave them in the comments below!