Years ago, if someone told you they worked at home, you likely thought that was either code for being unemployed or into some type of illegal activity. Folks just did not make a legitimate income without punching a time clock. Times have certainly changed. Now, someone tells you they work at home and you instantly become green with envy, imagining yourself making money in your warm fleece pajamas while everyone else is fighting the snowy commute in rush hour traffic.
How Easy is it to Work at Home?
If you still think working at home is nothing more than a dream, think again! Anyone can do it, and you do not need a college education and a ton of startup capital either. You simply need to figure out your niche and pursue it.
In fact, in 2012 it was reported that a new home-based business was started every 12 seconds, and there were already approximately 38 million people working from home in the United States. It is suggested that nearly two-thirds of Americans could be working at home by 2025.
Whether you want to bake and ship your famous apple pies, make designer dog clothes, get involved with network marketing, or become a freelancer, the opportunities are there. You just have to make it happen.
Create a Home Office
First things first; you need a home office. It is important to have a workspace where everything you need is always available to be accessed. This is especially important if you are a work-at-home parent because once your little one goes down for a nap you do not want to spend precious minutes getting organized. You should be able to sit down at your workstation and do just that.
Whether you and your significant other are constantly fighting for the desk or if you have two children in the home you would love to see do their homework anywhere other than the kitchen table, this cute solution for two is perfect. Both people have their own space. The blue wall is a nice refreshing change from the plain white walls typically found in offices.
Now, this does not mean you need to move to a bigger place with an extra room. A home office or workspace can be created virtually anywhere. A walk-in closet, cubby under the stairs, sectioned off a corner of a room, or even a garden shed can be converted for this purpose. Everyone in the house should know that when you are in your workspace, you should not be interrupted unless it is an emergency. You can turn that awkward space under the stairs into one. This one has some simple shelving and storage solutions, which is really all you need. If you want to hide it, you can always hang a curtain. If the space is in the cold basement, just put a small heater under the desk. As long as your toes are toasty the rest of you will stay pretty warm. If you do hang a curtain, it will help keep the heat in your workspace when temperatures dip outside.
Establish a Schedule
Anyone can be successful working from home, but everyone also has the potential to fail. The number one reason people fail is because they do not establish “work hours.” When you do not have to punch a time clock and no one is breathing down your neck, it is easy to put things off till tomorrow. Although it is nice to have the flexibility to create your own schedule it is also easy to get behind bills, if you allow your schedule to become just a little too flexible.
If you actually create a schedule with the hours you plan to work, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable and actually follow through. If you need to take a day off, then make up the hours a different day. Be sure to schedule yourself breaks.
Make Time for Fun
It is also easy to get burned out working from home. Sure, you may absolutely love what you do, so it hardly feels like work, but you need to still make time to do other things you enjoy. You also need to pencil in time for the important people in your life.
Your schedule does not have to be so strict that you can’t squeeze in a round of golf or that 90-minute Bikram yoga class you love. You need time to recharge your battery both alone and with friends and family.
Also, in a world of technology, it is easy to get in the habit of texting, emailing, or communicating via social media. However, sometimes it is nice just to make an actual phone call! The person on the other end of the call will likely agree.