There are benefits, and drawbacks, to working from home.
Dreaming of spending the day in your pjs? Hair uncombed? A lot of entrepreneurs will confess it’s one of the main reasons they are excited to be working from home. (I know I love the casual dress code too!)
How you view your business matters.
Perhaps you can work in your pj’s and be motivated. Most entrepreneurs I spoke with, however, had a very short lived “phase” of enjoying life in PJ’s, before they realized that, for them, it wasn’t the answer. Now this doesn’t mean they dress in suits or skirts to work from home, they just take it up a notch from PJ’s and sweatpants. For them, it’s a matter of respecting the “work” as a “business”, even if they are the only ones there. (I will confess to being in sweats as I write this though! I seem to do OK with the dress down version of business – though that can be because I gained a bunch of weight and casual clothes are more comfy)
If you meet with clients on Skype or other video conferencing software you need to dress up – at least from the waist up…. and remember to stay seated. Your clients don’t want to see fuzzy pants with images of sheep jumping over fences when you stand up!
I have worked from home for almost 3 decades now, and the one thing I learned early on, was to set boundaries.
If you have children, block out time on your calendar to work without interruption. If you don’t you may find that you are mentally “working” when with them, and mentally “with them” when you’re working! It’s not only a more effective way to work – it also models a great work ethic for your children.
If you want to do the laundry, or clean up the house, during your work day, schedule it in as a “break”. Make it an official “to do” on your list. This will help you maintain a “work attitude” at home.
Your extended family and friends may be the hardest to train. They see you as now being accessible to them 24/7! Let them know that between the hours of X and X, you will not accept personal phone calls, read personal emails or text. And STICK TO IT.
Speaking of emails, make sure you have a business only email account that you access during the day. This helps you avoid seeing those emails from “friends” that can quickly take you off task! It also shows your clients that you are a serious business owner. (Imagine emailing a marketing business at firstname.lastname@example.org!)
Schedule time away from home.
Spend at least a few hours a week out of the house networking in some way. (and running to the grocery store doesn’t count!)
Take a laptop or pen and paper to the cafe for a few hours and do some work there. Go to a meetup group or chamber event and connect with others. Visit the library to do some research on topics important to your business.
Set it up right – and you will love working from home.
Create boundaries, set limits, “schedule in” household chores, and get out into the “world” starting Day 1 in your business.
As they say in the commercials – “You’ll be glad you did”