There’s no denying that working from home offers many advantages. In many ways it’s the ultimate freedom; you get to set your own hours, working when, where and how you want. However, there are also a number of potential pitfalls you need to be aware of, and watch out for, or you’ll risk turning your home-based job into an unproductive nightmare.
Failing to keep business and private life separate This is one of the most common issues for people who work from home, especially those who are self-employed. When the home office is “right there”, it can be hard to stay away even if you should really be off work for the day. Before you know it, you’ll have spent another few hours of your precious weekend on work. This is the fast track to burning out, and something you must learn to avoid if you want to be successful working from home.
Not planning your work This mostly applies to people who are self-employed and may not have a boss telling them what to do every day. When you’re working on your own projects, planning is an absolute must. If the first thing you ask yourself when you start your day is “Ok, what am I going to do today?”, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s much better to plan out the next day before you go off work in the evening, so you’re ready to get started first thing in the morning.
Working at irregular times When you’re free to set your own hours, it doesn’t mean that you should only work “whenever you feel like it”. Chances are after a few months that you’ll rarely feel like it at all, especially when there are so many fun distractions around the house. That’s why it’s better to try to stick to working the same hours every day, even if it might resemble a “real job” a bit too much for your liking. You can always take breaks during the day if you need to recharge, but try to at least go into your office around the same time if you want productivity levels to stay high.
Not getting out of the house regularly When you work from home there is usually very little motivation to go outside. You’ve got everything you need at home anyway, right? That’s true, but after a whole week you’ll most likely be feeling isolated and lonely, and that’s perfectly normal. That’s why it’s so important to make time for little things like grabbing lunch with a friend – something as simple as that can really boost your energy and make your working week easier and less lonely.
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