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10 Tips For Working From Home
Here is a rundown of ten things you need to keep in mind to make working from home a success:
- 1. Set aside a specific place exclusively for work. You’ll be able to deduct it from your taxes and it will help you psychologically.
In general, to write-off home-office outlays, you must use the “area” for work only and on a regular, or constant basis, either as your primary place of business or a setting to meet with clients or to do paperwork, say, invoicing, ordering supplies, and phone calls. I suggest you snap a pic of the space, too, so you have a record in case the IRS is ever curious.
If you’re a full-time employee at a business, you will only qualify for the deductions if the company doesn’t provide you with an office.
- 2. Create a daily work schedule. It’s easy to get sucked into being available to work any time, any day. I work far more hours than when I had an in-house job with one employer. My choice since I am self-employed. But, in reality, for the sake of my mental health, I could use someone to pull me away from my laptop from time to time.
If you work for one company, try to set well-defined work hours to avoid phone calls and emails without boundaries on your personal time.
From my experience, to work from home on a regular basis, you must be well-organized, have time management skills and be a self-starter. Not everyone is hardwired that way. Be honest with yourself before you take the leap.
- 3. Accept that your rise to the top might be thwarted, or do something to fight back. Employers figure that you can’t really manage others when you work from home. I think they’re probably right on many levels. Being a boss means face-time. But even getting promoted (and the bigger salary that goes with it) often gets tied up in the out-of- sight out-of-mind phenom. It’s an unspoken trade-off at some firms if you decide to work from home.
- 4. Be an extrovert.Working remotely can prevent you from building workplace relationships and chances to meet new people in an office — those things rarely happen when you work from home. This is a bit of an intangible loss, but, again, push yourself to get out of the house, and squeeze in an out-of-the-office lunch, or coffee with colleagues and bosses.
Co-workers can also be envious and resentful of your freedom. With a little effort, you can avoid the bad blood.
At the very least, every so often, make a phone call instead of shooting off an email or a text. It can be a time suck, but I think it helps build camaraderie and you might even pick up some fun office dishing.
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