The modern work place is changing. This is the consensus of most business experts in the face of today’s economic uncertainties. Unemployment is a common problem, not only in developing countries, but more so in places like Europe and the US. No wonder, more and more employees are opting to work from home, whether in set-ups called “telecommuting,” freelance work or home-based enterprises. For working mothers, the choice is tempting. Despite the advancement of technologies and ready-to-cook meals, most women are still finding themselves coping up with the demands of their careers and their families.
The Harvard Business Review blog site identified some of the common reasons why employees prefer to work from home. Among those interviewed, the most common reasons cited included “increased focus, greater creativity, saved time that would otherwise have been spent commuting, and feeling relaxed and comfortable.”
After more than six years of working overseas, I have decided to try this work scheme. It helped that I had invested on buying laptops and other gadgets that will start my home-based office. Like all enterprising women, I am ready to take the risks. At the back of my mind is the nagging thought of the demands of a monthly budget that needed a full-time job salary. How am I going to meet them?Let me share some of the tips I have learned along the way:
1.) Take an inventory of your assets and liabilities.
With a small start-up, anyone can set up a home-office. You have to be your own secretary and PA, as well as the office cleaner and maintenance crew. A 10-20 manned office can be managed by one person, and that is you. Office equipments include a table and a comfortable chair, telephone lines and wireless internet connection. A good corner in the house can be the work station. Experts advised that a separate work space provide a psychological conditioning that makes one separate house work from the office work even in the same abode. I chose the corner in the house which is also the library. The references like an Oxford Dictionary, writing books and other materials are just within my reach. Outside the window, I could get a glimpse of the neighbor’s garden where an old black berry tree stands. The over-all setting is perfect for writing.
2.) Expand connections, links and networks.
Join a web-based outsourcing company. It may take sometime to earn what you normally receive in an office-based job, but persistence will pay off in the long run. First build your reputation as a reliable writer. The offers will come pouring in. Expand your e-networks with sites like Linked-in, ezine.com and many others found on the net.
3.) Aim to constantly improve your skills.
Every skill needs upgrading. So every day, write an essay or article of 300 or more words as an exercise to flex your writing muscles. Like doing yoga and physical exercise, this is a routine that one should aim to be disciplined at. As a newbie, you may also need a mentor-critic to help you discover areas that need to be strengthened or affirmed.
These tips may sound so easy, but nothing rolls until one kicks to start. The perks of working from home include taking a nap when you want to, a coffee break when the urge is there, or putting your feet up when you feel like doing it. In short, you are your own boss. And if you wish to play music while working, you can do so without thinking of somebody’s reaction to them. Of course,who does not dream of a working place where you can listen to the sound of crashing waves or smell the flowers in bloom. A writer deserves a good place to hone his craft. Meantime, I am finding my current job status as quite challenging.