A telecommuting job from home can be an exciting opportunity for anyone. While working from home is great, it can take a little getting used to, especially since you will have more free time than your used to. Since you are in charge of your time and when you get your work done, you will look at your job in a whole new way. Here are some simple steps to get you started on your new venture working from home.
1. Make an appropriate workspace - Working from home is really no different than working in an office when it comes to the space you are using. Make sure you have an area in your home that you can go to that is quiet and you won't be disturbed. This includes a desk that is set up for you to comfortably maneuver throughout the day. Remember, you will be sitting at your desk in your home office like you would if you were in any other office, so you want to make sure it's comfortable. You should be able to sit in a position that does not cause strain or discomfort on your neck, back wrist etc. Invest in a nice desk and chair; you will thank yourself in the long run.
2. Create a system to track your time - Depending on how your company is set up, you may be required to enter your hours online each week. I recommend using a notebook or calendar system to write down this information, especially for those busy days when you are juggling several projects. It's easy to think you will remember what you've done but trust me, I learned quickly that the days go by too fast and it's really hard to recall what I did each day!
3. Keep track of your bills - Most home office expenses are tax deductible in some form or another so keep track of all your utility bills, home improvement bills, internet, phone etc. Contact your accountant for further information as it applies to your state.
4. Set boundaries - With having such a flexible work environment, it's easy to get sidetracked watching TV or doing the laundry. If you set boundaries for yourself, you will find you are much more productive. I tend to work in 2 hour blocks of time because that works best for me. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. Don't be afraid to try new things. In most instances, you are probably free from the typical 9-5 hours of getting your work done. If you work better at night, go for it (assuming you are still meeting your deadlines).
5. Check your insurance -Does your insurance company have you rated as a high mileage driver? Call to inquire and let them know you are now working from home, there is a chance this may reduce your premium. If you are bringing clients to your home or if you are driving for business purposes, your insurance agent needs to know this because there may be special endorsements that need to be added to your policies. It is best to contact your insurance agent to find out the laws in your state.
6. Take a look at your budget - Since you are working from home, the chances are pretty good you are not spending as much as you were when you were driving to and from work. Working from home not only allows greater flexibility, it can also mean big savings on your budget. You will likely find savings in categories like gas and dining out. Since you won't be driving to work and you likely won't have the typical office lunch out, this can add up to big savings. You could apply this extra cash to savings or paying down debt.
Working from home is a great opportunity to create a flexible lifestyle for yourself. I am lucky enough to only need a laptop and a broadband card to get my job done. This means I can travel and still work from anywhere I choose to go. What opportunities do you have now that you are working from home? Take a few moments to jot down some goals you have been putting off or some things you have always wanted to do. Are you going to spend this newfound free time watching TV or start living your dream?
Jenny Kerr is a Consultant, blogger, and professional online marketer with a passion for helping people find their "why" in life. The ability to create a flexible lifestyle opened up a whole new world of possibilities for her and she loves sharing her experiences with other like minded people. Read more about Jenny on her website at http://jenkerr.com and sign up for her newsletter to learn more.