5 Questions To Ask Before You Work From Home
Doesn't it sound idyllic? Sitting at home in your pajamas while working away at your desk. No need to fight rush hour traffic, no annoying coworkers trying to talk while you get your work done, and you never have to worry about forgetting your lunch! It all sounds great, but after working from home for the last few years, I've learned that there are unique challenges to working from home. Below are five questions to ask yourself before you take the plunge to work from home full-time.
1. Are you self-motivated?
There is no peer pressure when you are in the quiet of your own home. One of the main things that gets removed when you work from home is the sense of camaraderie. You can underestimate the motivation of having you and your coworkers all clacking away at your keyboards. It is incredibly easy to get distracted with the social media vortex, housework, or even the frequent trips to the fridge. Working from home requires the ability to sit yourself in your chair, focus, and get work done. Are you able to motivate yourself regardless of your surroundings?
2. Can you handle silence?
That sound of keyboards clacking I mentioned? Yeah, that is gone. It is just you and the sweet sweet silence of your house. This can be an amazing advantage if you are able to be self-motivated! You won't believe how many things you can get done when nobody is stopping by your desk to chat. However, this is something that can also drive you insane. I'm a straight up introvert and still struggle with this! Can you go a day without seeing people? You can combat the silence by joining a co-working space or going to a local coffee shop, but it is something that you will have to work through if you work from home for any period of time.
3. Does your living situation allow for a designated work space?
I'm a firm believer is separating spaces. One of the downsides to working from home is that it can feel like you are always at work. A great way to combat this is to create a designated space. You don't need to only work in this space, but it is helpful to primarily have an area or room that you work in. This allows you to shut the door or move about and not feel like everywhere in your house is the office.
4. Are you willing to create boundaries with work?
That feeling like you are always at work? That can make you feel guilty during the evening, especially if you didn't quite get all the work done you wanted to during the day. Slowly, your work can start encroaching on your downtime. You need time away from work. Setting healthy boundaries with your work hours is key to a health work from home life.
5. Are you willing to create boundaries with friends?
Because you work from home you have time to see friends whenever, right? Wrong. Because you technically can meet with someone during the 9-5 time slot doesn't mean that you are actually free to see someone. It can be difficult to say no. Sometimes you need to have an honest chat with your friends to explain to them the importance of keeping certain work hours. I have created a schedule that allows for me to flexible on certain days to make time for meeting up with friends, but it is important to be strategic with your time during work hours.
Now this can seem like a big wet blanket to working from home. All of these questions are not to shoot down your dreams, but a reality check before making any serious change in your work environment. Working from home can be an amazing experience, but you should go into it with eyes wide open to some of the difficulties that can arise.
Do you want to work from home? What things are you worried about with the transition?