When you’re stuck behind a desk all day, working from home can seem like a seriously enticing prospect. Nothing feels better than the fantasy of telling your boss what you think of them, throwing your notice down onto the desk and waltzing away to your home office to work in peace and quiet, undisturbed by office politics and imposing deadlines. Working from home is an understandable fantasy for many; around 4 million British people would love the chance to work from home.
The unfortunate fact, though, is that working from home simply isn’t for everyone. You’ll need a certain disposition and set of personality characteristics in order to fully take advantage of the benefits working from home brings. Here is our beginner’s guide for checking whether working from home is right for you.
Do you have money stored up?
Depending on the job you want to do from home, you might suffer a financial shortfall at first while you adjust to working at a different pace. Your regular 9 to 5 might be boring, but it’s probably more stable than a lot of jobs you can do from home, so you need to seriously ask yourself whether you have the right capital. Saying that, this doesn’t need to be a huge barrier. Dip into savings, take out a reputable personal loan or ask your family for support; if this is something you really want, you can find the money from somewhere, and if you can’t, then start saving now.
Do you have good self-control?
If you’re the kind of person who’s very easily distracted by things, then you might want to avoid working from home. Everything from ambient noise in your house to distractions outside could curb your concentration and make it difficult to focus on the task at hand, so if you don’t deal well with outside intrusions then think seriously about whether this is for you. Of course, there are ways you can insulate your home office from the outside world, so if you are easily distracted then there are solutions for you. More importantly, you need to be able not to absent-mindedly navigate to social media when there’s a lull in your concentration.
Are your family supportive and stable?
If your family is stable and they understand your goal of working from home, then you should seize the chance to do so. However, times of financial uncertainty probably aren’t the right points in your life to consider this fairly drastic life change. This only applies to those who aren’t staying in the same position but relocating the centre of their work; there’s every chance you could be able to simply ask your boss if working from home is possible for you, and if they say yes then there isn’t much of a downside in this area. Just remember that your family (or housemates, if they’re relying on you for bills) are factors in this decision.
Do you have space in your home for an office?
It’s a bad idea to work anywhere in your home that can’t be converted into a bespoke space for you. Unless you’re absolutely iron-clad in your ability to focus completely on the task at hand to the exclusion of all distractions, you’re going to find it difficult to work in your living room, kitchen or even bedroom if there are other people in there. As such, think about whether there’s space in your home for an office – perhaps you could convert a spare room you’re not using, fill the basement with your equipment or convert the attic into a workspace. Whatever you do, it’s a good idea to have a space dedicated to working in your home.
Do you have good time management skills?
Time management is an absolutely crucial skill to have for those who are working from home. You won’t have a boss breathing down your neck and telling you when and how to work, but on the downside, you also won’t have someone keeping you on-schedule, so that someone has to be you. If you regularly use alarms to wake up and regulate your life, then you could be the perfect person to work from home, but if your life is fairly messy and disorganised (no shame, we understand) then you might not want to go down this avenue. If you have a good innate understanding of deadlines and how to maximise your time when working towards them, then working from home could be the ideal environment for you.
We hope this series of tips on how to know whether working from home is for you has helped. Do you have any suggestions for us? Have you successfully made the jump from 9 to 5 working to home working? Let us know!