Creating a successful
home office – part 1
The Commitment: Why having a home based business can be a challenge.
By Lori Karpman
If you think that having a home based office is easier than working at an external one, then please read on. You will see how far from the truth that statement is. A home office is a wonderful place to work and can extremely lucrative provided you have the self discipline to manage one. It is not a license to get up late and work in pajamas, nor can you do personal chores during working hours. A successful home business takes more commitment than a bricks and mortar one however; it provides significant benefits such as a reduction in operating costs, more profit potential, and a lack of traffic on your way to work!
A home office is a wonderful place to work and can extremely lucrative provided you have the self discipline to manage one.
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.
The number one challenge facing business owners is psychological. Most people that go from external to home offices have difficulty grasping that other than not having to leave home, nothing has changed. The reason people fail is because (1) they do not treat their home office with the same respect as an external one and/or (2) they lack the self discipline required to create and maintain routines and structure. It is critical to maintain a normal workday morning routine that includes getting dressed for work. Your clothes have a large emotional impact on your productivity. You do not need to be dressed to the nines, casual Friday attire is acceptable. It should be enough that with a couple of small changes, you can be ready to see a client who calls last minute.
The next challenge is to make work hours sacred. What often happens is that work gets mixed with home chores and then people wonder why they are not productive or generating enough revenue. If you were not able to do these chores from an outside office, why would you do them from a home one? Once you enter your office you are at work and these hours are strictly designated for revenue producing activity, period! When work and play are mixed there cannot be any quality of life since there is no difference between work and home, or days of the week for that matter, the days just melt into one another with no differentiation.
Once you enter your office you are at work and these hours are strictly designated for revenue producing activity, period!
To create the balanced quality of life you should have, you must have a meaningful action, such as closing your computer, or closing the office door, to signify that the work day is over. This is an essential action. By doing this you are creating your own structured and productive work day. Once you leave the office your time is your own and you can enjoy it without guilt. You will feel the difference instantly and days of the week will become meaningful again. You will be designing your own balanced life.
Respect and discipline are the keys to home office success. However, like any business success really depends on the efforts of the owner. Working from home actually adds challenges, but if you have the skills to meet them, there is no better place in the world to work.