4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Start Working From Home
According to a recent study, 70% of professionals across the world work remotely at least once a week. It’s small wonder considering the potential advantages. However, working from home isn’t always as blissful as it sounds. Remote workers are still answerable to bosses, colleagues, and clients, and self-motivation can be hard to come by.
It’s therefore worth thinking carefully about whether working from home is really for you. Weighing up the pros and cons will help you to make the right decision for your business and your career. It will also steer you away from simply choosing the most convenient option.
In this article, we’ll talk you through working from home. We’ll also discuss the questions you need to answer before you go it alone. Let’s get started!
The Pros and Cons of Working from Home
When it comes to the office/home debate, it’s important to fully consider both sides of the argument before taking the plunge. As you can imagine, there are plenty of benefits to working from home.
First of all, it’s efficient and convenient. You can forget about commuting, putting on uncomfortable clothes, or having to contend with any of the other drawbacks of an office. No more noise, chatter, or other annoyances that can dominate this type of work environment. You’ll be able to focus on your job, instead of what goes on around you.
You’ll also benefit from flexibility. Generally, remote workers track and invoice for their own hours, so you may not be tied down to the usual 9-5. As long as you deliver on your work and manage your schedule, you may even be able to decide your own breaks or devote some time to other activities.
However, it’s equally important to consider some of the potential drawbacks. Firstly, it’s important not to confuse flexibility and perks with an easy ride. Remote workers often face particular pressure to prove themselves to their colleagues, clients and bosses.
Depending on your situation, you may also find that it’s not just offices that contain distractions. Whether you have kids, roommates, pets or noisy neighbours, interruptions are easy to come by, and difficult to shake off.
Naturally, how pertinent these pros and cons are will depend entirely on your circumstances. In this next section, we’ll help you get a clearer idea of whether or not working from home is right for you.
The 4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Start Working From Home
Before you decide to make your home into your office, there are a few questions you should be able to answer first. Let’s take a look at them!
1. Does Remote Work Make Sense for Your Business?
Firstly, it’s important not to prioritize personal preferences over the practicalities of your business. Remote work is an easy thing to rush in to, and if it’s not right for your business, it could suffer as a result.
Start by thinking about the following:
- Am I required to be in one or more specific locations on a regular basis?
- Does my work require specialist equipment that isn’t available at home?
- Will my colleagues and team require my direct management or input?
- Do I have regular in-person meetings that I cannot miss?
If you can do your job with a standard computer and don’t need to attend regular meetings, working from home should be possible. After all, if your job demands that you’re at a specific location, you can hardly ‘take it home’. By considering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of which works best for you.
2. Are You Happy to Work Alone?
You need to know if you’d be happier working alone than in an office environment. If you’re used to the hustle and bustle, and thrive on your daily routine, you may find that working from home is stifling in comparison.
On the other hand, if you prefer to stick to yourself and enjoy being able to dictate your own work environment, working from home offers you that flexibility. However, this also depends on whether or not your home satisfies your professional demands.
Essentially, you’ll need to ensure that you have the space and equipment you need, and that you can work without distractions. This also brings us to the next question.
3. Do You Have the Discipline to Get the Work Done?
Regardless of where you do your work, it’s very important that you deliver on your end of the bargain. Working from home is centred on trust, and not having a boss physically breathing down your neck shouldn’t stop you from staying on target.
As such, you need think about whether you have the discipline to stick to schedules and meet deadlines. You’ll essentially have to keep up with schedules and deadlines by yourself. For this reason, you need to make sure this is something you’re comfortable with and capable of doing in the long term.
Fortunately, this gets easier if you have some handy tools to help you out. We’ll look at some of those next.
4. Do You Have the Tools You Need?
Finally, it’s time to think about organizing yourself for effective work. Once your day-to-day management is in your own hands, you need to stay on top of it.
When it comes to organizing your tasks, Wrike is a great way to do so as it enables you to coordinate with colleagues and clients. Each daily, weekly or monthly task can be assigned, monitored and broken down into sub-tasks from the moment they’re briefed until the moment they’re signed off.
With your tasks in order, the final hurdle is ensuring you get paid correctly for your work. This is where Hiveage comes in, as it ensures that your hours and expenses are all tracked. Using Hiveage, you can also take care of your invoices and payments.
If you have or are given the opportunity to work from home, it can be tempting to jump at the chance. However, it’s very important to consider whether leaving the office environment is truly in your best interests.
As such, before you start working from home, you should make sure it’s right for you. You can do so by answering the following questions:
- Does remote work make sense for your business?
- Are you happy to work alone?
- Do you have the discipline to get the work done?
- Do you have tools you need?
Do you have any questions or comments on good home-working practice? Get in touch in the comments section below!
Join thousands of business-savvy entrepreneurs on our mailing list.
Curated emails that’ll help you manage your finances better.