By freelance writer/contributor Lucy Wyndham
Being able to work from home is an incredible freedom. While most of the working world is required to face rush hour traffic, show up at a physical place of employment, and adhere to a specific dress code, those who work from home have the privilege of avoiding these burdens. Pajamas can serve as acceptable work attire. Any part of your home can be your “office.” And your work day is largely controlled by you. However, as one might expect, benefits like these don’t come without some kind of downside.
If you are new to working from home, or if you’ve been working from home for a while, here are some tips to help you overcome the top three challenges of working from home.
Flow of income
If you are a freelancer or business owner who works from home, one of the most trying challenges that you can face is an inconsistent flow of income. Some weeks and months, business is excellent and income isn’t an issue. Other times, your cash flow may not be enough to meet your expenses. At times like this, it is essential to know how to overcome this difficulty.
First, be sure to set up multiple streams of income if you haven’t done so already. Work with as many clients, customers, or vendors as your schedule will allow. This way, you will rarely (if ever) run low on work. You can also take on unrelated side gigs, such as earning cash from survey sites.
Second, be sure that you have set aside funds for times when business isn’t as great, and to prepare for emergency expenses. These two strategies will help protect you from most issues related to cash flow.
Working from home doesn’t work for everyone because of how many distractions are present. Not only is there the added temptation to send texts, check various websites, or browse social media, but you are surrounded by the distractions only present in your home. Between your barking dog, the noise of your neighbors, and the desire to clean the pile of dishes you didn’t get to prior to work, concentrating on your daily tasks can feel impossible.
To overcome the distractions associated with working from home, be sure to carefully select where you choose to set up your office. Situate yourself as far away as possible from noise, electronics, and other environmental distractions.
Next, find ways of further reducing the noise in your space. Invest in noise cancelling headphones or earplugs to help you focus. Finally, be sure to create a list of priorities at the beginning of the day, and stick with that list. If you are tempted to break away from a project to clean your house, exercise, or walk the dog, your to-do list will help keep you accountable.
Because you aren’t working in a traditional workplace, you miss out on the daily interactions with co-workers. Even though you likely communicate over the computer with your clients and colleagues, this doesn’t replace in-person contact. Make it a priority to socialize with others at networking events, or work from a shared office space. By continuing to build relationships and meet new people, you can continue to share ideas, acquire new work, and discover exciting opportunities.
Making your work from home situation work for you
Although there are many advantages of working from home, it is crucial to be aware of the downsides that are also present. Stabilizing your income, reducing distractions, and socializing with others in-person are just a few top obstacles to overcome. It is through this awareness and willingness to make necessary modifications that you will be able to thrive while working from home.