Working from home seems like a perfect idea. You don’t have to sit in traffic, you don’t spend hundreds of dollars on fuel, and you can sleep in as much as you like. You also save on expensive office lunches, and you can adopt a healthier home diet.
There are lots of reasons for wanting to work from home. For a lot of us, commuting to work shaves two or three hours off our work day, and we’d rather find more constructive ways to use this time.
If you want to shorten your commute, you can find accommodation closer to where you work. Unfortunately, you’ll end up sacrificing other factors for the sake of proximity. For example, the buck doesn’t stretch as far in urban areas. The kind of house you can afford in the city might be small and cramped, and it’s unlikely to have a yard.
Suppose you had the freedom and flexibility to live farther from the main areas of town. For the same amount of rental cash, you can get more square footage, a calmer neighbourhood, and maybe even a pool. This would probably translate into a much longer route to work, so this decision might inspire you to seek ways to work from home.
Fortunately, the modern workplace has many ways to do this. You could find a flexible job that lets you work from home two or three days a week. Some jobs will even allow you to work at home full time, as long as you check in regularly. You could use time track software to reassure your boss that you actually are working all day.
Another option is to pursue self-employment or freelance work. When you’re self-employed, you can set your hours and schedules. Find something you’re passionate about that can also earn you money. While having a website can help, it doesn’t necessarily need to be an online business. You could mow your neighbours’ lawns, wash cars, even walk dogs.
Freelancing is a little different and is almost always an online gig. Using mutual connections of freelance job sites, you can sign up for project based work that you’re skilled in. Options including writing, programming, editorial tasks, voice over work, acting jobs, and design.
You might think finding a paying job is the hard part, but it’s only the beginning. Once you have a sustainable source of income, you need a way to keep yourself motivated. When you’re working in a regular office, there are incidental factors that keep you productive.
Chatting with co-workers makes the work day go faster, so before you know it, it’s 3.00 p.m. and you do a spurt of work to make up for lost time. There are also daily or weekly deadlines to keep you on your toes. Don’t forget that nosy workmate or hovering boss that ensures you get at least some work done.
When you’re working from home, there’s no one to keep you accountable. And in addition to distractions like housework, kids, pets, and partners, there are others like constant snacking, phone calls, TV, social media, and unannounced visitors who pass by now that you’re home.
To keep up with your work schedules, you need to give yourself the discipline that bosses and workmates usually provide. Instead of working at the kitchen table or in your room, set aside a particular work space. Let your family know that when you’re inside the ‘office’, you can’t be disturbed. They have to wait until you get ‘home’ if they need anything.
To reinforce this concept, use an office space that is completely separate from your house. The granny flats are a great way to do this because they often have their own kitchen and bathroom facilities, so you don’t have to go back to the main house during your ‘work day’.
Keep yourself focused by furnishing your granny studio like an office rather than a home. No sofas, cushions, hammocks, and definitely no TV. Instead, put in an office desk, swivel chair, and possible a mini-fridge for midday snacking. You should also install a router.
As you settle into your newly established home office, be sure to maintain a job-life balance still. It’s great to work on your own terms but make sure your home office doesn’t become one more thing that keeps you away from your family.