There’s a lot of noise out there about the work from home world. A lot of it is so outdated. After all, we’re creeping up on 2018, which means so much has changed. And I’m happy to say, it’s for the better.
Gone are the days where you have limited work from home options. Or worse yet, had to invest in a program or system which was nothing more than a thinly veiled pyramid scheme.
Today, there are endless ways to kick your cubicle to the curb. They’re all legitimate. Totally in demand. And can even be learned if you’re a total newbie!
But before you sign up for a course in anticipation of packing up your cubicle for good, make sure you’re ready, like really, really ready to embrace the work-from-home lifestyle.
What Are The Benefits Of Working From Home?
The obvious answer here is that you don’t have to commute to work every day. And, believe me, that is a big one.
After all, the average U.S. commute is now 26 minutes each way, or just shy of 5 hours spent in the car, every. single. week.
The second you don’t drive to work every day, you save yourself those precious minutes spent in the car each workday. On average, that comes out to 256 hours every year!
In that time, you can exercise. Get your kids to school. Learn a language. Sleep. Really, anything you want, it’s your time.
With not commute you get a little extra cash in your wallet every month. For starters, there’s no expensive weekly fill-ups at the pump. And you definitely don’t need a fancy, schmancy business casual wardrobe. Plus, you’ll likely eat out less (no lunches or happy hour Friay!), and stick to home cooked meals. Not only are they more affordable, but typically healthier — win, win.
Last, but certainly not least, is the happiness factor. Studies show that those of us who work from home are happier. For me, it’s because I’m an introvert who thrives in my natural habitat (home). But for others, it may simply be the ability to spend more time with kids or those extra minutes of sleep every day. Either way, remote workers = happy workers. You can cash in on this extra happiness by choosing to forgo your cubicle in favor of remote work!
Are You Set Up For Work From Home Success?
When I tell people I work from home, most think I just sit on my couch all day watching Netflix in Yoga pants. I’m not sure how they think I manage to collect a paycheck doing that, but nonetheless, even close friends and family seem to think I’m not really working because I work from home.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s often found that remote workers tend to log extra hours during the workday, without even realizing it. This can be draining. So, to avoid burnout tak these things into consideration first.
What’s Your Home Office Like?
Your home office doesn’t need to be super fancy. But you should have one. Working from your bed is not an option. For starters, it’s bad for your posture and secondly you need to set boundaries when work and home are one in the same.
If you’re looking for an employee position that offers benefits, a home office is non-negotiable. In fact, American Express will physically send out representatives to your home to inspect your office to make sure it meets their standards!
But for freelancers, solopreneurs, and other creatives, or those who take on full-time work in a less restrictive company, will still need a proper home office to ensure their work from home success. This often includes:
- A desk
- Ergonomic chair
- High-speed internet
The company you work for or the business you start on your own will often dictate what other home-office must-haves there are. For example, if you seek out customer service jobs from home, you might find you need a landline. For transcriptionists, a good headset and foot pedal may be required.
Don’t get caught up in the nitty gritty details of home office requirements. Instead, make sure you have the basics, like a dedicated space, desk, comfy chair, and high-speed internet. The rest you can easily acquire if needed.
What’s Your Self Discipline Like?
I’m not going to lie, I get super distracted working from home. There are some days that all I can focus on are little things that need to be done around the house when I should be focusing on work. And sometimes, my neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking. Or the water company decides to drop by to address a potential leak. And then there’s the TV. And Pinterest. And your phone.
Seriously, the list could go on and on. The point is, distractions are a fact of life when you work from home. It’s how you handle them that’s important. If you’re not able to put in a full day’s work when no one is looking, working from home isn’t for you. Similarly, if you can’t focus when little interruptions happen, perhaps a remote-work arrangement may end up frustrating you!
Will You Miss Your Coworkers?
There are a lot of fun apps, like Slack, that make it easy for remote workers to stay in touch with their coworkers. You can even create a virtual water cooler environment by sharing memes and silly gifs.
But for the most part, you’re alone. All day. Every day. For introverts, this is often an ideal work situation (and probably why introverts make awesome work from home employees). But for extroverts or those among us who gain energy from being around others, a remote work arrangement can be super lonely. Remember, you should thrive as a remote worker, not falter.
Help! I Don’t Have The Right Work From Home Skills
So you know what it takes to be a successful remote worker, but don’t think you’ve got the right skills? That’s okay!
Even if you don’t currently work a remote-friendly job, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new remote-friendly skill. More skills = more money. And more opportunities to earn an income outside of a traditional office.
If you’re ready to kick your cubicle to the curb, consider taking one of these courses. They each offer step-by-step guidance for beginners. By the time you’re done, you’ll be primed and ready to land a new work-from-home job!
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