ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Three Golden Rules of Working from Home

Updated on October 13, 2014
Source

Many people aspire to work from home these days. Indeed, the prospect of being able to roll out of bed and be in 'the office' within a minute or two is the stuff of dreams to many. Imagine it; no need to shave or put on make-up every day; no commute to deal with ten times a week; no office politics or needless gossiping to contend with: oh, it must be Heaven!

Well, after working from home for more than five years now, I feel suitably qualified to tell you that, whilst homeworking does indeed afford a number of unique benefits, it can also be something of a nightmare if you don't get things right from the off.

Allow me to elaborate.

Source

The well known benefits of working from home (such as those mentioned above) are normally the only things aspirational homeworkers consider when they're trying to realise their dreams. I know I did. In fact, one of the main reasons I became a freelancer in the first place was so that I could enjoy the simple decadence of being able to work from my nice, cosy bed for the first few hours of the day!

However, focusing exclusively on 'treats' like this stopped me from noticing the potential downsides which can – and more often than not, do - manifest themselves when working at home. Not anticipating how variables such as tempting distractions, technological faults and the presence of others might impact my Utopian vision was, I can see now, quite an error on my part.

Needless to say, I have had plenty of time to learn what does and doesn't work in a homeworking environment. Therefore I thought – it being nearly the season of goodwill and all – that it would be a nice idea to share some of my insights so that aspiring homeworkers can avoid making some of the elementary mistakes I did when I first started out.

So here, in no particular order, are my three golden rules for working from home.

1. Keep your work and home life separate

Source

This is without doubt the most important piece of advice I have to proffer. It doesn't matter what your job is or what industry you work in, I can guarantee you will find it hugely beneficial to keep your work life and domestic life separate. The best way to do this is to have one designated place on your property that will act as your office. If you can, try and make this a place which is as far away from the main living area as possible – a converted garden building or extension/annex is perfect – as this will enable you to maintain a tangible border between your work and your home. If you work at a roll-up desk in the living room or at the kitchen table then you will be surrounded by your work in the evenings and have to contend with domestic distractions all throughout the daytime. Needless to say, this can lead to a lot of tension developing if you have a partner or family as they will not want to feel like they have to 'walk on eggshells' in their own home for fear of disturbing you. I would urge you to address this issue before you do anything else.

2. Enjoy a change of scenery

Source

If you're not careful, living and working in the same place can deprive you of experiencing much in the way of a varied day-to-day life. Indeed, working at home all day and then spending all evening in the same place can cause you to develop a touch of 'cabin fever' from time to time (especially in the winter). To counter this, make sure you get off your property at least once or twice during the day. A slow canter around the block, a gentle stroll through a park, or a relaxing lunch at a local café or nearby pub will not only provide you with some welcome respite from your all too familiar surroundings, it will also help you to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of being sedentary for much of the day.

3. Maintain a structured working day

Source

Whilst part of the appeal of working from home is that you can do as much or as little as you please, adopting a laissez-faire attitude to work will invariably affect your productivity. Without doubt, devoting inordinate amounts of work time to non-occupational concerns like keeping up with Facebook/Twitter, watching a bit of daytime television or having a quick blast on your games console is not something you want get in the habit of doing, just because you can. Set yourself some basic structural boundaries and stick to them. Get up at the same time each day, provide yourself with a 'treat' (TV programme, video game, etc) only once a day (during lunch is the best time) and limit your visits to social media sites to just before you start your morning or afternoon shift. Similarly, try to ensure you maintain a distinct cut-off time at the end of the day; that way, when the work day is done, so are you.

Final thoughts

If you're looking to become a self-employed professional or a full-time remote worker anytime soon then I hope these tips will help you along your way. The benefits are there to be had, you just need to be savvy enough to nip potential problems in the bud before they get the chance to take the sheen off what is actually a pretty cool way of making a living.

Good luck!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Bo Heamyan profile imageAUTHOR

      Bo Heamyan 

      3 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks Andrew; much appreciated.

    • Andrew Uffmann profile image

      Andrew Uffmann 

      3 years ago from Long beach

      Very useful and interesting article , some pointers I hadn't thought of, great job

    • Bo Heamyan profile imageAUTHOR

      Bo Heamyan 

      3 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      Aloha, Stephanie; thank you for your attention and your kind words.

      Good to hear from you Bob, been a long time.I know what you mean about being an eBay merchant; my sister-in-law does it and she seems to be packing and posting all the time.

      Your contracted journo hours sound ideal..!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Bo

    • profile image

      diogenes 

      3 years ago

      I ran a largish ebay business from home for a few years and had a lot of fun. The fact of having no overhead appealed to my partner and self, but we got sick of it in the end...all that packing and posting! I have written from home for the last 25 years, some for fun of late, but mostly as a contracted journo, so gleaned stories in the am, wrote them in the pm and went in to the paper and typed them in during the evening...best hours in the world. I would never work full time in an office again, even if I were of employable age...Good article...Bob

    • Hawaiian Scribe profile image

      Stephanie Launiu 

      3 years ago from Hawai'i

      Great hub! Voted up, useful, interesting and tweeted. Aloha, Stephanie

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)