from a home office /1
Respect, discipline and commitment are key to a fully performing home-based office or business
By Lori Karpman
Edited from previously published article on February 7, 2016
If you think it is easier to work from a home office than from an office away from home, please read on. You’ll see how far from the truth that statement can be.
A home office can be a wonderful place to work and even extremely lucrative, as long as you have the discipline to manage your time well. You can’t stay up late and work in your pajamas, nor can you perform personal tasks during work hours.
To be successful, a home-based business requires more commitment than a conventional work environment. Teleworking offers significant benefits, such as reduced business operating costs, greater profit potential and time savings with less travel to and from work.
A home office can be a wonderful place to work and even extremely lucrative, as long as you have the discipline to manage your time well.
A home office is a professional space dedicated solely to work. It is not a corner of your dining room table but a space that is equipped, supplied and organized like a “real” office. Ideally it’s a separate room, or a secluded space where screens can be used to delineate the office boundaries.
A home office is a professional space dedicated solely to work. It is not a piece of a table but a well equipped, stocked and organized space. Ideally, it is a separate room or isolated space, otherwise screen panels can be used to delineate the boundaries of the office space.
The first challenge faced by entrepreneurs moving from an external office to a home office is psychological. Most people find it difficult to understand that other than not having to leave their homes, nothing has changed. The reason people fail at teleworking is that (1) they do not treat the time they spend teleworking with the same respect as when they are in the office, and/or (2) they lack the self-discipline to create and maintain routines and structure.
Maintaining a normal morning routine is essential, and this includes dressing appropriately for work. The clothes you wear have a significant emotional impact on your productivity. You don’t need to be dressed to the nines, casual attire is acceptable. It should only take a few small adjustments to be ready to receive a last-minute client in person.
‘Once you enter your office you are at work and these hours are strictly designated for revenue producing activity, period!’
The second challenge is the ritualisation of working hours. Often, work gets mixed up with household chores and people wonder why they are not productive enough or do not generate enough income. If you couldn’t do these tasks from an outside office, why could you do them from a home office? And if you absolutely have to do certain non-work related but essential tasks, plan your day well and plan accordingly to work later.
Once you enter your office, you are at work and those hours are strictly reserved for income-generating activities, period! When work and leisure are combined, there can be no quality of life since there is no difference between work and home, or even the days of the week merging into each other without any differentiation.
To maintain the balanced quality of life you should have, when the work day is over, you need to take a significant action, such as turning off your computer or closing the office door, to signify that the work day is over. This is an essential action to create your own structured and productive work schedule.
Once you leave the office, your time is yours and you can enjoy it without guilt. You’ll feel the difference instantly and the days of the week will come alive again. You will design your own balanced life!
‘Once you leave the office, your time is yours and you can enjoy it without guilt.’
Respect and discipline are the keys to success in operating a home office. However, like any business, success really depends on the owner’s efforts. Working from home actually adds to the challenges, but if you have the skills, there’s no better place in the world to work.
In the second part, we’ll look at the content and equipment that a home office should have and give advice on choosing furniture and decor.
Lori Karpman, one of Canada’s leading experts on franchising and multi-unit business development models, helps business people and organizations worldwide by creating multi-faceted solutions for their marketing sales operations, HR, finance and technology. Find her on LinkedIn • 514 481-2722 • email@example.com • www.lorikarpman.com