Are You Ready to Work from Home?

By Miranda Marquit

| Photographs By simpson33

Many people want to start their own business, and consider a venture that can be managed entirely at home a dream come true. This allure of being your own boss is a powerful thing, but not everyone is ready to do what it takes.

Working from home comes with its own challenges, and you have to be prepared. Here are a few considerations to think about before you dive right in.

A home office is essential

It’s true that sometimes I work on my laptop, taking it outside while my son plays (especially during the summer), or sitting upstairs on the couch. Still, most of the work is done in my home office. A dedicated area for work can be a way to make sure you separate work from the rest of your home life. An entrepreneur sometimes needs to have that separation.

A separate home office can improve productivity, and it can provide a line that other family members understand they can’t always cross. I know that I am much more productive when I am working in my home office. I’d bet practically everybody is the same way.

As you set up your home office, make sure you have what you need. If you need a worktable to assemble handmade crafts, get one that is sturdy and of adequate size. You might need a phone, printer and other office equipment. Consider your home business, and what you are likely to need, and then use that information to set up your work space.

Prepare for the emotional demands of working from home

When you decide to be your own boss, it is important to prepare for the emotional demands that can come with the territory. If you are used to having co-workers, it can be lonely to spend all day working from home. You will eventually adjust, but make sure you are happy with the change by purposefully spending time away from home.

On top of that, you have to be prepared to deal with interruptions. Children and spouses can interrupt your work, and those distractions can sometimes be constant. When possible, it’s best to do what you need to with your home business when everyone else is out of the house, or napping, or doing other things. Sometimes, though, that’s just not possible. A home business involves quite a bit of work, and sometimes you will still have to miss events and activities with your family.

Get rid of your own distractions

Speaking of distractions, you have to get rid of all the ones that are in your own head. A successful entrepreneur has to know when to close out distractions and get some work done. Even though this may be difficult, sometimes you have to stop checking the email, and stop looking at YouTube. In my case, I found it helpful to hire someone to help with my son a couple of days of the week, reducing my distractions from that quarter.

You also have to be self-motivated — getting up to do work or forcing yourself to complete unpleasant tasks.

Bottom line

Not everyone is cut out to work from home. Before you quit your day job and devote your time to a home business, make sure that you have what you need to find success as an entrepreneur.

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