Working from home sounds ideal for a lot of people. However, there are some pitfalls that can make working from home difficult for some. If you are thinking about trying to work from home, below are a few things to think about before you make the move.
- Do you have skills that translate into working from home? Obviously, some jobs translate better to working from home than others. If you have a largely solitary job that relies on technology then you probably have a job that will translate conveniently into working from home. However, if your job relies on a lot of face-to-face contact with coworkers or clients then it might be more difficult to move away from the office. If you are positive that you wish to transition into working from home you may need to change your position or find a way that some or all of your tasks can be done remotely. Perhaps you can consult for or write for areas that you have expertise in even if that wasn’t your initial job.
- Do you enjoy solitude? Working from home means a lot less contact with coworkers and often the world in general. For some people this might be one of the best parts about and the primary reason for working from home, others may quickly get lonely if solitary all day. Think about how much you really enjoy the camaraderie of an office and use that information to help make an informed decision about working from home.
- Are you self-directed? It can be great setting your own schedule and being flexible about taking breaks when wanted or necessary. However, to be successful at working from home you need to have enough self-discipline to get your work done without someone looking over your shoulder. If you think you would be too tempted to spend all day watching TV and ignore your work then maybe working from home would not be good best fit for you.
- Seek out ways to make working from home meet your needs. Even if working from home isn’t the perfect fit, there may be ways to make it work for you anyway. For example, if you like everything about working from home except for the solitude, maybe you can find a co-working space so you can still work around other people a few days per week or a few hours per day. Working from home requires flexibility and the ability to rely on yourself for creative solutions to problems. Make sure you have what you need at home to make it work for you, including equipment, supplies and a comfortable work space.
Working from home isn’t right for everyone. Some people’s jobs or personalities are more successful working in offices. Either way, it’s important to know what is right for you and then try to make it work.