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How to successfully work from home?

How to successfully work from home? Working from home used to be the domain of the extremely lucky. Now with coronavirus a lot more people have been forced into this. From office workers, to bankers, and even teachers. Working online, or from home is now a thing. And it will probably not go away for a long time.

Table of Contents

The myth of working from home

A lot of people long for the idea, or rather the concept of working from home and this is for some very legitimate reasons. Saving the money of a commute, saving money on food and being around comfortable settings. All very legitimate, BUT for many it almost has fantastic connotations, like being able to slack off at will, sit in your underpants and be your own boss. So, how do you successfully work from home?

The reality of home based work

So, whether you work from a beach, a mountain top, your sofa, or an office, you still gotta work. This is the part many people find hard to adjust to. For those of us used it, we have our routines, but for newbies, the temptations of freedom can be very hard. Fridges, TV’s and internet can be tempting mistresses!

People in general ave also been indoctrinated to some extent too. If you have done 20 years sitting in an office, many of the things that make you productive are like triggers. Remember Pavlovs dog? That’s you buddy.

The good news is that it does not have to be this way, and you can learn how to successfully work from home.

How to successfully work from home – setting the scene

  1. Create your workspace – Make a special place in your home where you can work from and make sure it has all the amenities you need. Sounds simple right? It should be, but some thought into it.
  2. If you live with people set rules – I have worked “from home”, or rather not in an office for years. Family and friends tend to think I am “playing” on my phone, or laptop. Many people simply don’t get the working form home concept. Explain to nearest and dearest that from certain times you need to be left alone. But, of course the advantage is that when you do get breaks, as you would at work, you can spend it with family.
  3. If you are used to working from an office then mirror it – Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, simply mirror your routine. Start at the same time, even get up at the same time (or make use of the lie in). Keep the same breaks you would usually have in the office. But, also make sure you do take breaks.
  4. Behave like you are working – One of the biggest mistakes people make is rolling out of bed and then taking advantage of not getting dressed. This is a mistake. It is bad for your mind and mojo. Get up, take a shower, put on real clothes and get to work.
  5. Don’t do silly things! – Don’t play computer games, don’t watch movies, don’t start drinking earlier. This is the fantasy of working from home, it is not the reality of working from home.

How to work on the road/How to be a digital nomad?

My initial advice was more towards those now forced to work from home, or new to working from home. Again the whole being able to work online thing, or to use a phrase I hate be a “digital nomad” is the holy grail for many. In fact there are very obnoxious Facebook groups set up for this very purpose.

Firstly ask some simple questions!

  • Do you actually have a way of making money? This may sound stupid, but seriously if you see a lot of these groups, people genuinely ask these very dumb questions. If you don’t have an income stream fix that first.
  • Do you have the discipline? OK, so the kind of question people always answer “yes”. Why not do something like start your own blog and see IF you can keep it up. Don’t talk – do.
  • Can you manage yourself? Again almost a reputation of the previous point, but it still rings true. Can yo manage your time?
  • Do you need to nomad, and why do you want to nomad? OK, so again there seems to be this almost mystique and again arrogance when it comes to the nomad world. You might think you are traveling the world, but will you miss home? And can you stay at your hotel working whilst everyone is at the beach? Or worse still stuck on your phone? I have spent a lot of time at fun places, not having fun.
  • Could you cope if your business has a crisis if you are away? Another valid point, which will depend greatly on you and indeed your business. But it is indeed a consideration that you should take.

How to successfully work on the road vs how to successfully work from home?

So these two are like cousins rather than brothers, but i’ll highlight the similarities. Basically everything I have written about in “how to successfully work from home”, but on acid!

Here are main things you will have to deal with

Can you cope with bad/no internet?

So, this will depend on where you decide to travel to, but it is a consideration. For those of us that are full on nomad, it’s a thing. If you need super speed internet, this will affect where you will decide to go, or even if you can go.

Nomads need serious time-management

If you are traveling you might not be able to do the 9-5 thing. In this instance how much can you work from your phone. More importantly are you prepared to work on a bus, or work after a 6 hour bus journey? To be a successful nomad you will need to be strong both physically and mentally.

Can you work alone? Do you need co-worker spaces?

If you are “working” whilst others around you are on vacation it will mean time spent alone. I’m not a fan of them, but co-worker spaces are an option here. They are becoming quite the thing globally, but agin availability will depend on how remote you plan to be. Regardless, there is a loneliness to the nomadic lifestyle.

In conclusion…..

Not having to go to an office might be the holy grail for many, but it will not suit everyone. The same can be said for working as a nomad. Don’t forget Instagram posts tend not to show the problems people go through.

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Written by Gareth

Gareth Johnson is the founder of Young Pioneer Tours, a published writer, and all round entrepreneur. He enjoys street food, and encourage others to get paid to travel the world.

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