When many people achieve their dream of working from home, and begin to benefit from the scheduling flexibility it provides, they are unprepared for the lifestyle shift that occurs when one moves from a workplace position to a telecommuting situation. Here are just a few of the changes you can expect.
Your fitness needs will shift.
For most people, beginning to work at home means participating in web-based work. If you’ve previously had a position that required you to be on your feet for several hours per day, transitioning to sitting in a chair most of the time will take some adjustment. Find some fitness tips for desk jockeys that work for you, and make sure to take brief stretch-and-move breaks every hour or so.
Cooking from scratch is now in your schedule. Sort of.
Here’s the deal. While you certainly have access to your crock pot and toaster oven during those times when a support call has you waiting on hold, or during a conference call with a close colleague where you’re brainstorming some new project parameters, managing your time is still critical. Many work at home professionals feel if they’re working at home, it’s open season to celebrate their gourmet cooking hobby. The truth is, you’ll have markedly more time then when you were working outside of the home, but not so much you can go crazy spending hours in the kitchen every day. Find some nutritious cheap food items that are easy to prepare, and develop your menu plan accordingly.
Errands can be faster during the morning hours.
Do you need to take your work schedule seriously? Absolutely. Failing to do so is one of the most common mistakes for new freelancers. That being said, there are certain times of day that can shave hours off your errand schedule every week. Shopping and booking appointments from Tuesday-Thursday will eliminate the Saturday and Sunday hustle as well as a great deal of pre and post weekend stress. Also, morning hours will enable you to get in and out before work at home parents are able to hit the stores and doctors offices with the kids. If you have children, then try to at least stick with the Tuesday-Thursday plan. If you don’t however, then try to make morning errands a part of your regular routine. I bring along my Kindle Fire and a Bluetoothed Blackberry with a money app selection to handle minor emergencies, review documents from the road and take print media interview calls.
Your love affair with freelancing can run your line item budget off the rails.
It’s such a sought-after dream to be able to work from home that many new business owners and telecommuters hit the office stores with stars in their eyes and leave with smoke rising from their credit cards. Learning how to run a business on a budget is a critical skill to develop early on. Knowing precisely what your office supply needs are and how to select the best communication packages are two of my top power skills, although everyone’s list is slightly different. For example, if you have to occasionally travel for your business, then knowing how to build an expense report your accountant can work with will be valuable.
Photo Credit: This image was photographed during a TrekHound.com project.