Working from home does provide a lot of flexibility and the much desired work-life-balance that everyone craves today. However, the reality is very different, than what most of the people anticipate. Working from home brings a lot of challenges, and a few other things that can doom the entire business or assignments if not avoided properly.
Here are eight major mistakes that need to be avoided when starting your business or work from the comfort of home.
1. No Plans for the Day: Never start the day without a proper to-do list or a list of tasks planned, one after the other. Without a schedule to follow for the day, the entire day could slip away with nothing to show for. Having a detailed plan will help you set a deadline for everything that you have to do in the particular day. If you happen to be left with some unscheduled time, then use it to deal with the most important tasks or keep it handy for some unexpected issues that may crop up all of a sudden.
2. Permitting Interruptions: When no one is watching you, the temptation to talk to friends and family over the phone will always arise. It is good to call them once in a while but if this becomes a regular practice then you are definitely permitting interruptions to your work. This trait hurts the focus and consequently the productivity of your business. Hence, one must refrain from gossiping or unnecessary talk over the phone while you are at work. The other necessary distractions such as childcare, laundry, cooking, gardening etc. could be handed over to babysitters and family members. They must be explained clearly that you are to be disturbed only for the urgent requests.
3. Work Schedule of 24/7: At times, it does become a bit difficult to finish the work in the due time. Working from home allows the person to take care of unfinished business anytime he so wishes. But this doesn't mean that one should have a 24/7 work schedule, and work round the clock. The time for work could be set as per your convenience, where you must spend some quality time with your friends and family too.
4. No Separate Area of Work: Even if your home isn't huge, you must set aside a particular space just for the work. Take the little-used room or a corner of your living area, in order to split the home from work. In case you have to work in the area of the house that is common such as the kitchen or dining room, do stack away all the personal belongings to give it a professional tone for the work.
5. Too Busy to Remain Organized: As soon as the assignments pile up, the organization of various things tend to slide away. Succumbing to disorganization becomes easier when one works from the same place he has been living so far. One must always keep a track of what they have done at work, and how much work is left on a particular assignment. The filing and storage of documents as well as business related items should be done separately. The home-office area should remain clean and well-organized at all times.
6. Too Much Dependence on Loved Ones: When there are no co-workers around, the possibility of you discussing your business problems with your friends or spouse increases. You may also seek their help for the housework related things on a regular basis, since you are busy with work. This may create a problem in the long run, as your loved ones may not understand about your business. Moreover, seeking their help regularly could annoy them and strain your relationship. Hence, try to avoid this situation as much as you can.
7. Allowing Employees Abuse Your Home: You will risk getting your home damaged, if you do not set, and enforce the rules of how the employees must behave, when they are at your place for work. One can always ask his employees to take off their shoes before entering the house as well as clean off the designated work area at the end of the day. This will always keep things comfortable and the area tidy.
8. Loneliness: This is the most complained aspect of working from home. The majority of the people who take up this kind of isolated work environment in the hope that they would spend more time with family and friends, do not know about it till it doesn't happen to them. It may look good to have everything done virtually but taking some time away, from the home office for meetings with clients, will certainly help keep the loneliness away as well as build the business. Do take occasional breaks from work when time permits and keep a different kind of schedule every week.