Work-From-Home Tips & Resources
At AJBC, we fully embrace the virtual-work lifestyle. Working from home has its benefits. You're likely to save time and money by eliminating a commute and reducing the amount of money you spend on things like dry cleaning and a professional wardrobe. You may also improve your work/life balance and become more efficient with your time. However, working from home is not all rainbows and unicorns. There are pitfalls to working from home that should be considered and addressed before you decide to make the leap to virtual employment.
Similar to Point #2, just because you're home doesn't mean you're available to babysit. It's tempting, especially when childcare is so horribly expensive. But if you have very young children, make sure you have a system in place, just as if you were working from a traditional location. That could mean taking designated turns with your spouse, bringing in Grandma and Grandpa to help or finding a reliable childcare facility. Babies and toddlers need LOTS of hands-on attention that can easily distract you from work. However, the need for childcare becomes less of an issue as children age and become more self-reliant.
Virtual work can be solitary. That can be a boon for productivity, but if you're even a mildly social person, you may find yourself having deep, meaningful conversations with your pet or the local barista. If you think this is going to be an issue, make sure you take steps to fill the need: join a gym or a club; find or found a work-from-home network of professionals in your area to meet with periodically; schedule a meal out of the house once a week with a friend, peer or client for a little face-to-face interaction; or stay connected with your company by videoconferencing or Skyping in for meetings. Be creative and find what works for you!
Just because you're home during the day doesn't mean you are free to tackle the laundry or any other household chores. Sure, you're going to be tempted -- those piles are RIGHT THERE and it would only take a minute ... etc., etc. Work time is work time, and the sooner you adopt that mantra, the easier it will be to stay focused and on task. It can be easy to be distracted by personal tasks, but the more you focus on them rather than your job, the more likely you are to increase your stress. Working from home should lower your stress!
Steps for Success
For many, an opportunity to work from home is a gift. Whether the decision to work from home is based on family need, location, finances or health issues, virtual employment opens up a world of possibilities for those fortunate enough to secure a position. Our 100% remote AJBC staffers suggest taking the following steps to get the most out of a work-from-home opportunity.
1. Plan. Be proactive! Make a master plan and give yourself every opportunity to be a successful work-from-home employee. You can't control everything, of course, just do your best!
2. Problem Solve. Identify any challenges that exist in your virtual work space and formulate solutions. Keep it simple: find the easiest, most stress-free solutions! To make this sort of lifestyle change long-term and successful, find solutions that are sustainable and manageable.
3. Take Stock. Inventory what you have compared to what you need to work from home including furniture (desk, chair, lamp, storage) and technology (computer, printer, scanner, fax, high speed internet, dedicated cell phone or landline, etc.). You'll likely need a quiet, dedicated space to work, especially if there are children or pets in the house.
4. Shop. If you need furniture, tech or any other supplies to work successfully from a home-based office, DO YOUR RESEARCH! There are many deals to be had on the internet these days, so take a little time to be thorough so you can be confident in your purchases and comfortable with what you spend. Online companies like Amazon, eBay and Office Depot can be great resources for virtual employees. Local-focused sites and garage sales may be worth checking out, too.
5. Organize & Automate. Make life a little easier and a little less hectic. Working from home doesn't mean you have extra time in your day to run errands. You have job responsibilities that need to be met! As a virtual employee, you may find yourself under closer scrutiny from management to ensure work tasks are completed in a timely manner. Consider automating some of your errands or utilizing some of the new services companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon are rolling out. Check out the companies listed on this page for supplies, ideas and inspiration.
6. Normalize the Workday. Treat your work-from-home job as you would a traditional job. That means if you're working an 8-hour day, take time for breaks and a meal. Stop work at the end of the work day (unless you're under a deadline or have other requirements that necessitate a longer work day). Weekends are for recreation, family, errands, chores ... unless, of course, you're under a deadline or have other requirements that necessitate working over the weekend. If your new company offers paid time off, take your vacation! Whether you stay local or visit a resort, it's worth it to take time for yourself or with your family to decompress and reconnect!
7. Do the Work! Work hard, be conscientious and prove you are a dedicated and valuable addition to the team!
Waslmart.com typically has good deals across the board. Do some research and see what kind of
deals you can find to outfit or supplement your home office or automate repeat purchases.
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FastTech - Gadgets at great prices!
Need a Resume?
Hilton Hotels - Treat yourself to some down time!
123Inkcartridges - Replace your ink and toner for a fraction of the cost!
Day-Timer- Organize your life!
Walmart - Sales, deals & more on what you need for a home office