As of 2017, only 3% of the US workforce calls their home a place of work. The number is steadily rising. So, it is helpful to know what to expect while working from home just in case you decide one day to try it. We also offer some work from home tips and ideas.
Expect to be your own tech support
If something breaks while working from home, one of your jobs is to fix it yourself. Computers and Internet service providers will have problems. Things break. Power outages happen. What you need to work from home is a backup plan, in case something nearly stops your ability to work
While working from home during Hurricane Sandy several years ago, I had to figure out quickly how to work from home remotely. All my work from home tips and ideas came into play.
Conditions were so bad I ended up working in my car, using a battery charger that plugged into the cigarette lighter, and using a mobile hotspot for Internet. There was neither electricity nor Internet and I still had to communicate with another team that I was fine.
Expect to change your work regimen
When you work in an office, you have a daily work regimen:
- You wake up at a set time
- Get ready for work
- Maybe you eat
The first thing you find out while working from home is how removing the office work regimen requires it be replaced with some new regimen.
What you need to work from home is a daily regimen that helps you wake up. It helps you mentally prepare for a productive day of work. If you expect while working from home to roll out of bed and into your home office, your productivity will quickly suffer.
Expect to be communicating much more
You have to start compensating for the lack of in-person reassurance while working from home. Those who want to see that you are working cannot stop by to ask you questions at your desk.
Instead, your team now relies on Skype, phone, Slack, Whatsapp etc. But what if your team or boss cannot get you right away while working from home? And all you did was step away from your laptop?
No one knows what you are really doing while working from home, so expect to be communicating more. You simply have to explain more in order to build trust in your abilities and work ethic. What you need to work from home at times is to tell your managers information normally considered “TMI” for the office.
Expect to spend money on making a home office
Those who stay busy while working from home also know the costs that come with making a home office:
- Building a quiet room for work
- Paying for high-speed Internet
- Possibly buying a new computer
- Paying to update your outdated computer and home technology when required
Making a home office you will actually want to work in full time is possible. But you need more than a computer and Internet while working from home. What you need to work from home is technology that equals or performs better than what your office is using.
Expect an increased desire to meet new people and employees
As someone who has worked from home for nearly a decade, one of the biggest mistakes I made initially was thinking I could work more hours and not go out as much.
While working from home I found the less time I spent interacting with new people and employees, the more withdrawn and frustrated I became with my work. I also became too disconnected from what was really happening in the world around me, which ultimately affected my decision-making skills and ability to lead.
What you need to work from home is a way to people and employees that provide inspiration, human understanding, emotional maturity, and even help us expand our ability for creative thinking. Try attending a local Meetup with people who work in your industry or create one yourself.
Forbes Top 20 Cities for Remote Jobs
Check these great cities with businesses that favor working from home as well as the top six-figure jobs for remote workers. You can enjoy big city life while working from home and possibly explore new career opportunities on your own time.
If you think you are ready for a career change and ready to work from home, read these top 5 benefits of working remotely.
You may even find out you have the potential to run your own home business!