Working From Home: 10 Frequently Asked Questions Answered
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Is working from home good?
Being able to work from home can be one of the best things ever, but it does not come without challenges. Being disciplined, sticking to a work schedule and setting healthy boundaries between your work and personal life can be a huge challenge.
If you can get those 3 things right, then working from home can be one of the most liberating benefits you’ll ever experience. No need to sit in traffic, spend hours commuting to and from the office and if your work is flexible and you’re disciplined, then you can schedule your work in such a way to blend work and personal responsibilities in a way that will maximise your freedom and enjoyment.
If however you struggle with those 3 factors, then working from home, might end up being more of a curse than a blessing.
How can I make money & what jobs are best for working from home?
If you have a job that you can work on remotely online, then you will most likely be able to work from home. You could either find a remote job or you could work remotely as a freelancer or consultant. You could also create an online business that you operate remotely. Wherever you are in the world you should be able to continue getting your work done.
Some common jobs and work that can be completed online includes software development, website development, graphic design, customer support, social media management, project management, paid media management, search engine optimization, copywriting and video editing to name a few.
There are also various admin related jobs that can be conducted remotely online including book keeping, accounting, data entry and account management. With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are letting their staff work remotely.
If you are looking at starting your own online business, then you might also be interested in reading my post titled “10 Proven Online Business Models with Real World Examples”.
What equipment do I need to work from home?
This really depends on the work you’ll be doing, but assuming you’ll be working in a position that you’ll be fulfilling online using a computer, I’d recommend the following:
1. A reliable desktop or laptop computer that has enough processing power, memory and storage for you to complete your work. If you’re a video editor for example, then you’ll need a more powerful computer compared to if you’ll be doing admin, writing, emailing or content management.
2. A reliable, fast and always on internet connection — depending on your specific tasks you will either need a very fast and always on connection or you might be able to get away with only accessing the internet to upload or submit your work. If you’ll be editing, downloading, uploading and consuming a lot of media files like videos and audio, as well as doing video calls, then you’ll definitely want an always on fibre or LTE connection with unlimited data.
How can I help my employees work from home?
After having worked in a position as the director of operations at a digital products business for the past 18 months, I’ve learned a few things about working with a remote team. This advice applies to working both with employees and contractors.
My advice would be to make sure your team members have the right hardware and software. If they are employees then you might need to provide this to them and if they are contractors, then they would probably need to acquire and pay for their own setup. You can however assist them in whatever way you can.
Their hardware should be powerful enough to let then complete their tasks and power the required software. For software it’s important each team member can access a master account or even better have their own team member account.
Besides hardware and software, I’d recommend defining and documenting standard operating procedures for communication, collaboration and project management. How will team members communicate? Who will be in charge of scheduling and conducting meetings? What tools will the team be using to communicate and collaborate are a few questions to answer and document.
If you are working remotely alone or with a team, you might be interested in also reading my post titled “12 Best Digital Tools, Apps & Platforms for Working Remotely”.
How can I work remotely from home?
If you currently don’t have any work (job or contract), then I’d recommend looking for remote work online. There are various platforms that you can use to find full time jobs (like on https://weworkremotely.com/) or project based contracts (like on https://www.upwork.com/). There are many more options out there, so make sure to do some research.
If you have an existing job or contract that you’re fulfilling in an office environment, then you can negotiate to transition from in-office to remote. Depending on your situation this might be a welcome change or you might face some resistance. If you face resistance, then you can always suggest a trial period to see how it goes and if it goes well, then the trial can be extended into a more permanent arrangement.
What are the disadvantages and challenges of working from home?
There are definitely disadvantages and challenges when it comes to working from home. One of the biggest challenges is remaining disciplined, staying productive and creating healthy boundaries between your work and personal life.
Also working from home can be very isolating. Without noticing it, it’s easy to spend a vast majority of your time at home, as there is no reason or need to go to work. Also working in isolation at home, can cause loneliness and a feeling of disconnect, as you don’t have an office to go to where you can interact and socialise with work colleagues.
It is therefore important to remain disciplined, productive and have a structured routine that you stick to. It’s also recommended to regularly get out of the house, even if it means working from some other location whether that’s a out of home office, a co-working space or a cafe.
Is working from home bad for your career?
It all depends what you are working on and how effectively you are using your time. If in your head you are “working from home” but in actual fact you are wasting your time watching Netflix, sleeping late and playing Playstation, then yes, that would not be a good use of your time and in the long run would not help your career.
If however you are building a business, marketing your business, growing your client base and increasing your skills, experience and income in an area that you specialise in, then working from home could be a great way for you to focus on and create what you desire in life, work and business.
What are the advantages of working from home?
I’ve worked from home my entire life and have become aware of the advantages and disadvantages. For me the advantages are that there is less distraction at home and I can focus on my work. I can control the environment within my home, so I can create an environment in which I can thrive.
If I have the flexibility with the projects I’m working on (which I’ve always had), then I can manage my own schedule and work around my energy levels and mindset.
If I feel sick, then I can take it easy and rest. If I’m feeling great, then I can get up very early and start working before the sun comes up. Or if I need to, I can work late into the night to complete a project to then perhaps take the next day off. If I’m feeling tired throughout the day, I can take a 30min power nap. And if I’m feeling stuck in my head, I can take a walk or go for a scooter ride to clear my head.
If you have flexible work and you are disciplined enough to be productive, then you can enjoy amazing freedom by working from home. I’ve also taken that freedom onto the road and have worked from wherever I’ve relocated to in the world, including Cape Town, Chiang Mai, California, Hanoi, Bali & Berlin.
Is it better to work from home or in an office?
This really depends on you as an individual, what work you do and what your home environment is like. If you share a home with multiple other people and you don’t have a private room to use as your home office, then there will most likely be a lot of distractions at home that you need to try avoid in order to get your work done.
If you live alone or in a large enough home where you have a “home office”, then it will be much easier to focus and remain disciplined and productive.
Is working from home less productive?
Working from home can be a lot less productive if you don’t create an ideal work environment for yourself and if you struggle with being disciplined and focused. Depending on whether you live alone or with others, there will be different levels of distractions that you’ll need to avoid to remain productive.
If possible I’d strongly recommend using a spare room as a home office where you can close the door and separate your work from your personal life within your home.
If you do not have a spare room to use as a home office, then it’s important to find a partially secluded corner or area in a room to allocate as your work space. It’s also useful to setup some rules that everyone in your home should respect to minimise distractions and interruptions.
Working from home is definitely not a solution that works for everyone. Some jobs and work is not well suited for being done at home. Some homes are full of family members and other distractions that are impossible to avoid. Some people struggle to remain disciplined and productive while trying to work from home because their fridge, TV and bed are just a few metres away and can remain a constant temptation and distraction.
If you can work remotely from home and you can remain disciplined and productive, then working from home can provide some life changing advantages, assuming that you can stick to a well structured routine and keep your personal and work life separate.
If you’re currently working remotely or from home, make sure to also check out my post titled “12 Best Digital Tools, Apps & Platforms for Working Remotely”.
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