With the advent of the internet and cheaper broadband, more companies are allowing employees to work from home. Sometimes this is just occasional but more companies are now considering it as a permanent state. To many, the idea of working from home, or telecommuting as it is sometimes know, is very attractive. But working at home does not suit everybody and there are some questions you need to ask yourself before you commit to working from home.
SPACE: First consider where you will work. Is there a spare room you can use as an office ? Or can you set aside a special space ? You need to have somewhere you will not be disturbed or distracted by normal family life. Ensure that your loved ones know where you work and respect the area.
EQUIPMENT: Think about what equipment you will need to work from home, whether you can afford it, and how and where you will set it up. Do you have a reliable internet connection ? It is as important to consider Health and Safety implications as it would be in a regular office environment. Will the desk and chair you’ve used for home use really work for 8 hours a day ?
HOURS: Consider the impact on the family or those around you. Set down some ground rules so your loved ones know when you are working and cannot be disturbed. Let them know your working hours and stick to them. Working from home has many advantages, but it can sometimes be difficult to switch off at the end of the day. So set your boundaries, including what you are prepared to do. Make sure they are fair to everyone. This is yourself, your family and your employer. Meet everyone's needs, and stick to them.
TEMPERAMENT: Most importantly, ask yourself whether you have the temperament to work effectively from home. Are you the sort of person who needs the buzz of the office ? Or do you prefer to get your head down and get on with it. Do you need to get out of the house in the morning, or are you happy to stay within your own four walls every day? Asking yourself these questions will determine whether you will be happy working from home. If you are unsure about some parts, don't despair, there are things you could do to make it work. For instance, you may need to work harder on your social life, join a gym or a local networking group. Many successful homeworkers, get up and go out to the gym and then come back ready to start the working day. Asking yourself these questions and evaluating your honest answers, before you start working from home. This will really help you determine whether or not homeworking will suit you.