The online economy has opened up all manner of new opportunities for business entrepreneurs to start their own home based companies away from the hustle and bustle of busy city center offices. Whilst this may sound ideal in reality it can often prove difficult for new adopters of this lifestyle choice to balance their career and personal lives.
As such I’ve prepared the following set of tips that I have adhered to over some 8 years of working from home. They help to ensure I do not feel isolated whilst striking the right balance between my work and home life.
1. Vary Your Routine
When you work in the same place, in the same spot day after day, it can prove both tedious and boring. As such it is worth sometimes venturing out to a local café to order some coffee and make use of the free Wi-Fi service. Whilst you may not actively engage with the clientele, just sitting in the company of others can sometimes help break the day up.
2. Make Use of a Hot Desk
If you are not satisfied with your working environment and want to vary things up even more then try the hot desk method wherein you rent an office space for a day or even half a day. This can prove impressive to clients for it can make you look as if you have a larger operation than in reality you do. At the same time it is a fairly convenient means of meeting them as hot desk office operations usually provide free meeting rooms.
3. Network in Your Area
Look for other business owners in your niche market to help increase the range and breadth of your business network. Attend other networking opportunities such as trade shows and local chamber of commerce networking groups.
4. Maintain Classic Means of Interaction
When working from home there is a tendency to communicate almost exclusively through email or instant messaging. Whilst this can prove efficient at an operational level it is still important to maintain a face-to-face relationship with both current and potential clients. Given that building long standing client relationships are one of the most important elements of any business operation, you should invest that extra bit of time once in a while by picking up the phone and speaking in person. Better still arrange a lunch meet for regular review periods. This will help you ascertain any issues your client is facing that they might not otherwise share on email and gives you an opportunity to help find a solution.
5. Draw Up Some Rules for the Family
When you have kids running around your home you can easily get both distracted and frustrated. This is not good for you or your family and may result in a bad-working mood, poor productivity and, worse still, an unhappy and disgruntled family. As such it is essential that you establish a working routine and rules that everybody adheres to. Be realistic, agree points of principal and then work them through in practice adapting and changing as circumstances require.
6. Grab Some Fresh Air At Least Once a Day
Go out and exercise at least once a day. Since you don’t work in a standard office based environment it is easy to skip meals and work late into the night when required. To guard against the possibility of days passing without you so much as leaving the house you need to schedule a set time when you will exercise. For the sake of your health and well-being this is one commitment you cannot breach.
7. Work in a Dedicated Space
This almost goes without saying, but you must set aside your own personal work space. It needs to remain ordered and chaos-free where possible as this will help you stay focused on your tasks at hand. Where possible you should avoid working near to or in your bedroom. Don’t be lulled into the silly situation where you work some mornings from bed. This is a major no no and will prove disastrous for your productivity if left unchecked.