Top Strategies to Efficiently and Happily Work From Home

Working from home has numerous benefits including no boss to contend with and no long commute. Here’s how to efficiently and happily work at home.

Working at home can meet one or two definitions: either the person is employed by a brick and mortar company that offers telecommuting, or the individual is an independent contractor (i.e., sole proprietor) with a list of clients he or she interfaces with on a daily basis. Either way, at home employment requires excellent communication skills, a comfortable office space which motivates the person, and a high degree of self-discipline to get projects completed quickly and efficiently.

Those who engage in a business opportunity via working at home will need to purchase basic office equipment such as a computer, printer, internet service, copy machine, phone, pens, paper, FAX machine, furniture, and task lighting. Some new businesses must also purchase inventory and shelves to store products. Though it may sound expensive, all of these purchases can be claimed on one’s taxes as well as any business losses via Schedule C of the 1040 tax form.

Benefits and Drawbacks to a Home Office

Working from home provides numerous benefits such as the absence of a micromanaging boss, long commutes, and freedom to work at any time of day. The worker saves money on gas and food and is free from obnoxious office politics. But while these benefits seem very tempting, there’s also another side to home employment.

Workers must consider whether they are suited for work where they are more isolated and disconnected from the world at large. Register on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, chat online with friends, call clients, text loved ones, and use instant messaging to keep from becoming too lonely during the day. If the person misses the office camaraderie and special events such as birthdays and group lunches, invite a client out to lunch (also tax deductible).

Top Strategies to Efficiently and Happily Work From Home

Self-discipline and prioritization when employed at home is key. Prioritize and make good use of organizational tools such as Microsoft Project, a whiteboard, or handwritten notes with project milestones checked off as tasks progress. If having difficulty operating certain computer programs, take an online course or consult a local community college to increase productivity. Always maintain tact and diplomacy with clients. Establish a reputation as a reliable consultant with a “can-do” attitude. Also be sure to garner client recommendations.

Avoid distractions of children, spouses, pets, friends, and televisions – these can be concentration killers. However, music that motivates is a great way to get important projects done fast. Take a break every 15 minutes to stretch and walk around – too much sitting makes a person tired and groggy, leading to inefficiency and lack of concentration.

The most successful employees are able to find ways to maintain their social life while interfacing positively and diplomatically with clients. They are also able to maintain a balance between positives and negatives of home employment including distractions, concentration, and self-discipline. While working from one’s house may not be for everyone, it can be a very fulfilling way to make a living for many.

Work from Home

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