It is more possible than ever to make the jump from an office job to “work at home,” and this website isn’t only about work at home opportunities; it’s about US, the actual folks who constitute the “work in the home community” on the internet.
This collection of articles will focus on the reasons we work in the home, the challenges we face, and matters which improve the work at home lifestyle. I have found so many things that allow me to work online and revel in a professional office in your home, and several are for pure pleasure. That is why I work at home in the first place!
By way of instance, I got up this morning, had coffee with my husband and cried until about 9:00, then I washed the dishes, got dressed, threw a load of laundry in the wash… and settled down to check email about 10:00 am. That is what I call a terrific morning and an ideal schedule for me. Your hours may be different – if you are a morning person, you will likely get started hours before me, and you will be finished long before I begin my “night shift”
I prefer a fast once-over in the morning, then a long, long break all afternoon. My children homeschool, and that is when we do their courses. They are not morning people, either! For a couple of hours after they finish, we play with our exotic parrots, the children ride four-wheelers in the nation around our campground, and I often spend the quiet time in the day reading, exploring, or watching a film. At night… that is when I set the world on fire in my “home office.”
Being able to schedule my work around my “peak times” and “poor mornings” is my favorite thing about working at home, but other parts of it are quite important to me, also.
Among the greatest things is working on a notebook. I can take it everywhere – and I do. We are at our winter home right now, on beautiful Lake Bruin in Louisiana, and when the weather is fine, I just take the laptop outside, wi-fi button turned on, and now I focus on my creative thoughts while I watch the clouds float across the lake. The sound of wind chimes is soothing in the background, and those are the times when I think, “This is the life!”
Other times, the telephone rings, it is someone with a large ad agency I am dying to get together with, and the dog starts barking, the parrots begin to riot, and the children come crashing to the space arguing… and those are times when I believe, “I wish I were in the office!” But honestly… I will never return. In spite of the challenges of working at home, it’s well worth it.
There are just a few things I’d strongly recommend to anyone just getting started with a home office:
- If at all possible, a separate area or room of the home that may be a “quiet place” for your telephone calls
- A combo scanner/fax/copier to care for all of your office communications
- An excellent, fast internet connection
- A comfortable, truly ergonomic computer chair
- A desk that is comfy and has storage space, made for computer use
- I can not emphasize enough – be good to your body when you work at home! Take care when picking your seat, and do not forget about relaxation. You’ll spend a lot of hours there.
- With just the most elementary office setup, you can accomplish anything, but from the very start, you are going to need to draw some lines in the sand. If you wish to work in your home to improve your life – do not forget to improve your life! Here are some guidelines below, to help you balance family and work life. You MUST separate the two, at least a bit.
- Set yourself a schedule and stick with it. You won’t earn any more money by working 12 hours per day than you’ll work 6 hours – if you keep focused and do not let distractions during your “workday.”
- Set limits with partner and kids. Work time is work time. When you are working, let your family know that you expect them to honor your space and time.
- It’s perfectly fine to schedule your work around your family’s needs – and often necessary – but do be sure to get some structure and let everybody know when you expect to be undisturbed.
- Care for your workspace as different from your dwelling. Even if you don’t have an “office,” create a place that’s just for work-related items. It’s tough to concentrate on your goals when there’s a dirty laundry basket or car components on your desk!
- If you can not afford another telephone line, coach your partner and children about how to reply to the telephone professionally, and make a professional answering machine message.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg about ways to work in the home, and future articles will cover where to find office supplies, the way to work at home in rural locations, terrific services available to small, small businesses, and much more.
For now, just make your own world wherever you can. Get started – that is the important thing. The rest is a matter of lifestyle and taste – and it is a work-at-home lifestyle that’s uniquely yours!