Work from home plans in 2014? Take notice.
If you want to work from home, then one of the first things you should do is recalibrate your expectations. There is a certain charm that comes with the decision prior to rolling up your sleeves and actually doing it. If you’re blinded by this charm, it can be difficult making the necessary adjustments for success.
After close to six years of full-time work from home experience, there are some things I hear from hopefuls that immediately send my eyes rolling into the back of my head. With that said, I’m not writing this to discourage you, but to help you set realistic expectations. So if you think you want to pursue this path, first ready yourself for some of the challenges you’re going to face.
One: You Work Harder.
Before leaving the office environment, you’re probably thinking how great it will be to escape the prying and judgmental eyes of your boss eight to 10 hours per day. For the first couple of days, it is awesome until you realize that no one is there to motivate you into getting things done. And especially if you work for yourself, that can be a scary thing.
(No work, no eat.)
Once you come to grips with what is at stake, you’ll find yourself become something of a workaholic as the panic sets in. From there, it becomes quickly apparent that you need more structure and less freedom. Question is: are you the type of person, who can self-provide? Here are some additional tips from Nigel Marsh on work-life balance:
Two: Your Schedule Gets Tougher To Manage.
In my own business, I’m up to 11 regular clients. Without productivity apps, such as Wunderlist and 30/30, I would be completely lost as to what should come next. When you get to this point, you have to prioritize work by profitability without stamping on the expectations of your agreements. That means more product management skills and more work, even as you make billing arrangements to keep cash flowing in.
Three: You’re Your Own Boss. (Ha!)
When I first became a full-time freelancer, it was common to tell people what I did and then get that “Lucky you” look as they said, “You’re your own boss now!” Ha! Leaving the office environment took me from one boss to several. You have to be careful when marveling at your newfound freedom. Get too proud of yourself, and you won’t put the customer first. That leads to shoddy work, fewer clients, and lower income.
Four: Your Loved Ones Just Don’t Get It.
When people find out you work for yourself (or from home), they’ll start thinking your schedule isn’t as important as when you worked in an office, when it’s actually more important. I can’t tell you how many times friends and family have acted bothered — whether they’re joking or not — that I didn’t answer my phone at 10 a.m. or 2:30 in the afternoon.
You’re going to learn a lot when you work from home, and you won’t like everything you discover. Still, the flexibility and empowerment is worth every extra moment you spend working. If this is your dream for 2014, set realistic expectations and plow forward, full-steam-ahead.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]