Have you been dreaming of working from home? It can be a wonderful thing if you are well-prepared for the transition.
In everyone’s life, there comes a time when you’ll have to change things up in one way or the other. Change is inevitable. A common change that most of us make comes with employment, or our general work conditions. People often change from office to office, company to company, but sometimes, the determined few can actually switch-up environments completely – from the corporate office life to working from home. There are many reasons that might make one undertake such a change but regardless of your situation or reasons, such a major change in daily routine can be challenging. This type of change can seem to be a minor, positive change but actually requires a definite transition period.
If you are transitioning or thinking about moving from corporate life to working from home, the following are some tips that can ensure your move is a smooth one. These will help, whether you’re telecommuting or starting a new business on your own!
Do you have the right mind set to be your own boss?
1. Start with the right attitude.
As you begin to transition from a routine of working directly under a watchful eye, you need to check your attitude. Sure, we’ve all read the latest GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics and know that 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time (and it’s ok to be excited and happy that you’ll be avoiding the commute) but there are realities that come with working from home that you should make peace with.
For starters, you’ll be doing almost everything on your own. There will no longer be a friend’s desk to pop over to for advice, brainstorming, venting or a laugh. You may lose your work friendships and connections. In fact, it’s rumored that career advancement for telecommuters is slowed for those who work outside the office. It is always a difficult thing to accept but just like the ‘non-smokers’ in the past, not being around your managers can have a detrimental effect on future promotions.
Another issue for those who work from home may be a lack of technical support from fellow co-workers. When you request support, they may place an issue of a well-known peer ahead of yours. The result of this may be seen in the quality of your work. If you decide to work from home, enjoy the time you save avoiding the commute but use some of that precious time to connect with those who are stuck at the office. And taking cookies or brownies when you do show-up (or to friends who help with your own business) isn’t a half-bad idea!
2. Set work hours and deadlines.
Time is a very crucial guiding factor for any organization and becomes even more important when you’re moving from a structured environment to one where you’re responsible for yourself. If you are to succeed in working from home, you need to understand the value of time and accomplish tasks within the set deadlines. Keep a schedule. Strong expectations are helpful in maintaining the discipline required for your new work set up. With them, success is bound to follow.
3. Build the necessary foundation.
A strong foundation is required for the transition. There’s a reason why, according to State of Telework in the US, over 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80 percentile of all employees. These top percentiles started with a firm foundation. If you are struggling with building yours, these tips may help:
- Getting one’s partner on board. If you have a life partner, you should try to garner the support of that partner. In addition to mentally preparing yourself, emotional and psychological support from others can be key to a successful foundation as you move to another working environment.
- Getting one’s financial house in order. For a strong foundation, it is critical that you set aside some funds before you move away from the corporate world. This is especially true if you’re leaving one job and starting a company of your own. Your financial preparation should be done before you take leave of your current workplace. Change can be a great thing but make sure you’ve tied up financial ends in advance. For example, investment in your home office space should be complete before you transition so you’re not left with those bills or credit card charges afterwards. And don’t let the stress of future savings affect the happiness of working from home. Before you make the decision, take an aggressive stance on savings for retirement.
4. Realize your current job is temporary.
As soon as your dreams of working from home start to become an actual reality, you’ll need to start detaching yourself from the corporate work environment. This can be done by:
- Saying no to additional tasks
- Not putting in extra hours at the office
- Concentrating and polishing your specified tasks only
- Start gifting or throwing out the excess clutter on your desk
- Stop involving yourself in company drama or stress
The above methods prepare one slowly for the life without all the colleagues from the formal employment place. Now we have some quick tips to keep you on track for a happy life, and not getting overwhelmed with working from home.
- Start or continue your exercise plan. We all know that we need to get out and get active. This is true no matter where we are working from. But if you are working from home, a routine exercise or hobby plan is even more crucial for maintaining a happy life. By working the gym into your daily routine, you’ll be giving yourself a much needed break from the confines of your house. This change in scenery will help you maintain focus in whatever they are doing for the rest of the day.
Quit the rat race but keep up your exercise routine!
- Don’t forget family and friends. When you start working from home, there may be a tendency to get cooped up and shut off from the world, so much so that they forget about other people. The physical contact with friends and family is vital in helping you reset and stay focused on your work. These outside connections also offers a chance to exchange ideas and brainstorm.
- Use the new found mobility. When you stop working in a corporate office, you will experience a rush of freedom – the freedom to work from whatever location you want to. That is because, working from home actually just means you’re “not in an office.” You’ll suddenly be able to work from a café, the library, a beautiful park, or the beaches of Brazil. No, we’re not kidding. Book a flight and a room with good WIFI… and have fun!
- Create comfort. As you transition from a corporate or 9-5 job to a working from home, you need to think about the comfort of your new workplace. You now have complete control over your workspace! It’s your chance to incorporate all the devices and changes that you requested at your previous job… but never received because of one reason or another. The more comfortable you are in your new home office, the more likely it’ll be that you’re happy and productive.
- Ramp up tech skills. If you work in technology, you surely understand that tech is always changing. This is true of other industries, too, even though it is less recognized. No matter what your field is, you need to make sure you set aside time to research new information in your field and sharpen your skills. Treat yourself to the occasional trade show as they’re great for learning and networking.
- Dress up. Now this is a controversial piece of advice and one that my friends and I are divided on. If you get the pleasure of working from home, it is very likely that you may want to work in comfortable clothing… like pajamas. Some feel that this lazy style of dress might make them too lackadaisical about work, too. You should be the judge of yourself on this topic. If you feel the quality of your work or time management is slipping, consider getting up, showering and dressing up as if you did when you worked at the office. For many, this oddball tip has saved their working from home efforts.
So as you can see, the transition to working at home needs to be a well thought-out one. It’s a major life change that may make you slid off track, unless you prepare yourself for a comfortable transition. Working from home can bring great rewards, such as travel and daily freedom, but always remember that keeping yourself to a schedule is still a very important part of success.
Do you work from home? We’d love to hear how your transition from corporate life to working at home went. If you have tips, please share them in the comments below!
Inspired by her love of travel, Susan is a passionate supporter of eCommerce software and the idea that people should own their own internet business (so they can work from anywhere in the world). Though she currently resides in California, she is often found blogging from random beaches and teaching her kindergartner the delightful difference between ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’.
With a strong past in product evaluation, educational content, and eCommerce sales, Susan is serious about helping online merchants succeed in their goals. She loves meeting other independent business owners on the road and hopes to run into you one day… maybe in the hammock next to her!