Working From Home: How to Get Started

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According to a 2017 report, 5.2% of Americans or 8 million people work from home. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics also published an article stating that 9.6 million Americans were self-employed in 2016.

There was a drastic change in the way Americans find sources of jobs since the development of technology, such as the Internet and computers. Work from home jobs are jobs or tasks that can be performed by an employee or freelancer at their home.

According to the State of Remote Work 2019 by OWL Labs, 49% of their remote workers responded that they work remotely, full-time. There are many reasons why people opt to work in the comfort of their own homes. Before you consider jumping on the bandwagon, consider these reasons why you should work from home.

5 reasons why you should consider working from home

1. You can work anytime and anywhere you want.

Unlike other jobs where you need to be physically present in the office, working from home gives you the freedom to work anywhere you want—in the coffee shop, beach, park, in your bedroom, even in other countries, and be like digital nomads. You will also have a chance to work on projects where no schedule is required. You can work anytime you want if you wish to work late at night or early in the morning.  

2. You will have more time for your personal interests.

If you are a parent, working from home will definitely suit you because you will have more time for your family. You will have more frequent opportunities to take care of your kids and bond with them. Also, you will save time and money because you do not have to spend cash for work clothes, office lunches, and commute allowances. The same goes for those who do not have kids. You will have more time to meet your friends, save money for your future, or even to build your new skills.  

3. You don’t have to worry about your work attire.

As long as you don’t meet your clients, you can wear whatever you want when you are working from home. There is no dress code when you work from home, so you don’t have to worry about wearing uncomfortable high heels, skirts, neckties, and blazers. If you are comfortable wearing your pajamas while working, then you can wear it every day if you want.    

4. It offers opportunities for career development.

You won’t feel stuck in a rut because there are tons of freelance jobs and other job opportunities of your interest that you can take to add excitement in your career. You can also change your work schedule to give way to your side hustles.

5. There is no need to commute or drive yourself to the office.

Driving or commuting to work and going home vice versa can be a stress. You have to endure the traffic or the chaos in the bus station or subway. You will also have to deal with traffic that will take much of your precious time. While working from home eliminates the need for daily commuting, it’s worth noting that companies can also consider options like a charter bus service for employees who need to travel for work-related activities. According to Market Watch, full-time workers save up to $444 a year in gas if they choose to work from home.

If you agree to all of the reasons listed above and you want the lifestyle of working from home to be your goal, then you might want to use the tips below.

How to start working from home? 

1. Create your home office or workspace.

Some work from home jobs requires you to have even just a small home office, while others let you work to whatever setup you are most comfortable with. Having your own workspace for your work from home tasks will improve your productivity. Just a simple small office table and chair will make a massive difference to your daily work grind.  

2. Get a speedy laptop/desktop and internet connection.

These are the essential requirements when you start working from home. You will use this to communicate with clients and to work on your tasks virtually. Some work-at-home companies will provide you a free laptop or desktop and other equipment allowances once you get hired and start working from them. However, it would be better if you have your own equipment and accept jobs that offer flexible hours so that you will have more freelance work. It would be best if you also consider buying a telephone headset, preferably a noise-canceling one so that clients will not be irritated with the background noise on your end when you are in a meeting.

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3. Structure your work-from-home routines.

The beauty of working from home is that you will have time for personal pursuits, and you don’t need to set time constraints for commuting and break time. Although it may sound like a dream for most, but the fact is, this can also be a curse because it is so hard to stick to a routine. There are work from home productivity tips that you can follow, like setting a work schedule and taking a shower early. Also, you can invest in online courses, such as Work From Home: Learn How To Work From Home Successfully to help you strategize your productivity while working from home.  

4. Get into the right mindset for work.

Getting into the zone and staying there can be challenging when you are working from home. When you are at home, you are in your comfort zone, and you associate your home environment with fun and relaxation. Thus, you tend to slack off and procrastinate. A trick to help you make a mental shift is to take a shower and dress in a way that you feel you will slay the day before you start with your work. Starting and ending work at your usual time, or perhaps earlier since you do not need to commute, will also help you make that mental shift.

5. Make your well-being, mental, and physical health your priority.

There are advantages to working from home. However, there are also some disadvantages of always being at home that can affect our physical and mental health. Some of those who are full-time working from home experience different forms of isolation that can develop into depression, cognitive decline, heart diseases, sleep disturbance, and other health issues. Also, they forget to look after their physical health.  

Taking advantage of the work from home setting by applying effective time management and prioritization can increase your productivity and get more tasks done in less time. By doing this, you will have more time for your personal activities and for people you care about. 

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