The Truth About Working From Home
By Luci Fardo
Do you think you would love to work from home? This is a very relevant question now. When I started working no one was working from home. That was in 1992 and everyone was expected to go in the office everyday. At that time there were very few work from home jobs. Running a daycare or something like that were one of the few work at home positions. I had gone to a technical school and went to work at a company that was owned by IBM at the time. A few years later I tried my first work from home job and it required going in the office to have my computer loaded with work. The pay was inadequate and I gave up and went back into the office.
Many years later I decided to look into remote work once again. The remote work was really just beginning to take off. I knew then that it would eventually become the new way companies would go. No office space and the same basic people they had before. When covid19 hit I knew that more companies would follow suit. I was correct in that theory.
Now I actually co-own a company called Qaltek Solutions. I also have my blog and the books that I write as well. My husband runs Qaltek Solutions marvelously. We hire regularly and the email to seek employment is email@example.com. I kept my day job and also work for another company remotely.
There are pros and cons to working from home and that is what I am writing about today. There is a lot to keep in mind when you work from home. Most companies require you to follow a schedule. Sad but true. You can't just work whenever you want to. I work five days a week and 8 hours each day. Most of the work from home jobs are hourly. It does matter how many hours you work. Some companies offer healthcare and paid vacations.
To stay on task time management is key. You will have a team lead to oversee your work, but managing your time will be your responsibility. You are accountable to management and the company you work for. You have to be able to be a self-starter. You won't have anyone standing behind you watching you. These companies can track your time. You have to keep notes when you have technical issues and report it to your immediate team lead.
You will be required to work in a room with a closed door that can lock. I read online about all of the jobs that you can work at coffee shops and in bed. That is inaccurate information. Most corporations require you to be in a specific location and address. It is about security with the customer, company, and client's information. Would you want your personal information to be at the corner coffee shop without a secure network? I don't either.
You will be forced to face the fact that you will be lonely. I do understand that being around people all the time at work can cause stress because of the people. When you are alone every day in the office you miss seeing your friends at work. You will miss eating lunch with a friend. Yes, you will talk to customers on the phone. You will talk to people in chat and in zoom, adobe or some type of conference several times a week with your team. It is not the same as physically being next to someone and chatting at the water cooler. It is vital that you try to maintain relationships with friends outside of work that are physically in your area. This way you have friends and people in your lives. I work with people in other remote locations. I have worked with one or two people that live in my state. I have no co-workers that live near me.
You sit a lot at a desk in a room. This does not promote a lot of activity. I actually have multiple computers and a television connected to the computers. I also keep a set of weights, a medicine ball, a exercise bike under my desk, and a set of kettlebells. I workout when I can between calls and activities.
Join a gym. I go to the gym every morning before work. This will allow you to interact with other people and stay fit. I joined a YMCA five minutes from my house. I spend the time I would have commuted to work at the gym working out. That is me time. I listen to motivational videos, audio books, and music. It passes the time for me. The workout is a major stress reliever. It is vital me time and something that I owe myself. We give so much of ourselves to others. Working out is taking care of yourself. I have made friends at the gym and look forward to seeing them each day.
Eat well. Working from home is a fantastic opportunity to take charge of what you eat. You aren't eating lunch with others so it can be easier to eat healthy. I save so much money working from home that I can afford fresh fruits, vegetables, and more great food choices. There is less money spent at restaurants, coffee shops, and vending machines. This creates an opportunity for better health and wellbeing.
Go outside and take a walk. Most of the time I go outside and walk after I get off work. It is usually only for a short fifteen minute walk. I feel that the fresh air and sunshine is important. It also is a great way to relieve stress. I sometimes walk outside on break for a few minutes.
Proper sleep is so important for work. I go to bed early. I read before I go to sleep. This enables my eyes a break from the light of my ipad or television. I go to the library every few weeks and stock up on good books. Right now I am reading an awesome book called "Fairy Tale," by Stephen King. Such a good book. The link below will take you straight to Amazon and the book. If you don't get enough sleep then you will probably struggle with being able to focus and achieve success at work. So many people I have worked with over the years remotely end up going "home" because they didn't get enough sleep. You are already at home. Think about the challenge of your bed being down the hallway from work.
Another big problem working from home is leaving work at the office. You get up from the office and walk down the hallway to your family room. That is only a few steps away. It is tempting to keep talking about work and to go back in there to finish something. You must for your own peace of mind and sanity stay off your work devices when you are off work. I do start work thirty minutes before work. I allow myself to check my work email once a day while I am off work. The rest of the time I am off work for that job. I work on other projects. With that being said you have to be able to not take the job "home with you" in the other areas of your life.
You will save a lot of money on gas. That is very true. This allows for more money in savings and less wear and tear on the car. This allows us to be able to travel on really nice vacations a few times a year. That is one of the best things about working from home.
Make sure you don't let yourself go. Even though I work from home I still dress in actual clothes. It is great to have the ability to wear pajamas to work when you are sick. If you wear pajamas and jogging pants everyday it does become quite depressing. I don't dress in pantyhose and dress clothes either. I do wear comfortable office style clothing. I put make-up on and fix my hair and my nails. I do this because it makes me feel better. Even though no one can see me I can. Trust me when I say that if you stop maintaining yourself that it will affect your work and yourself in a negative way.
Get to know the people on your team on a personal level. Exchange phone numbers and social media. Make friends. I have met and adore so many people I have met over the years at work. We do change teams and maintain friendship afterwards. It does take work to do so. You realize working from home how easy it is to lose contact with people. This is fundamental.
Keep your home office clean and well organized. A clean and tidy office does enable you to have more joy and focus at work. This is important even if you are working remotely. I have vision boards around my desk. I have my accomplishments and my goals on a punch board next to my desk. I post pictures of my family on my desk. I have organizers with post its, ink pens, and other things I need. I do keep chewing gum and water bottle next to me. You spend a lot of time at work so make sure you have a comfortable chair and desk. These are very important investments.
When you are working remotely don't keep personal devices near you. It usually is not allowed by companies. It goes against policy and can cause you to lose your job. Do you really need to have personal devices with social media to distract you? I think not. It is really detrimental to your career and personal growth.