Are you tired of going to your office every day and want to spend more quality time with your family? If your answer is yes, working at home may be the solution for you. Yet although it does sound very convenient, it’s not as easy as you think. Before sending your resignation letter in, it’s wise to plan ahead and consider your readiness for such a big change.
To make sure you are prepared, we have formulated a few questions you should ask yourself before deciding to work at your most convenient time and place. Having positive answers to these questions will guarantee a smooth transition from office work to working from home.
Want to Work from Home? Ask Yourself These Questions First
We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.
– Richard Branson
What kind of work-from-home job makes sense for you?
If you are already decided to work from home, don’t jump off the ship just yet. Ask yourself what kinds of home-based jobs you can do first. No one can really decide for you because it all depends on your skills, knowledge, and capabilities. Are you more into sales? Or maybe you are intrigued by those freelancing jobs? Do you need the stability of tenure of an office employee? Or would you rather just work part-time without quitting your current job? Again, the answer may be different for each individual. So you should carefully pick the one that will best suit you.
Are you ready to give up office comforts?
If you are working in an office, there are likely some intangibles your company provides that you cannot get when you are at home. For instance, you may not be able to look for Fridays to rest or for coffee-break conversations with someone. More importantly, you will have access to fewer networks. If you are working for a company remotely, you might have a difficulty in communicating with your superior or with the people you work for because since there will be no face-to-face interactions that will transpire. Mostly, you’re communicating just through emails or phone calls.
Can you separate work from home?
It is a typical challenge for home-based workers to split their personal and corporate lives. What you need is discipline. When you are at home, procrastination can be very tempting. So you need to plan ahead, including your breaks, and religiously follow your schedule. You may want to set your work schedule to whenever your kids are in school, so you will not be bothered by them and can still have time for them when they get home. Unfortunately, if they get sick or if you experience a problem with your internet connection, you may have to think of a contingency plan to be able to finish your job in spite of the setbacks.
Are you ready for a pay cut or career shift?
You should also consider whether you’re prepared for a pay cut or even a career shift if you want to work from home. Before deciding, you may want to compute your budget with a lesser income and see if you’d still be able to manage your expenses. Moreover, this will probably slow down your professional growth and may require you to develop an additional set of skills.
Are you equipped to accommodate corporate guidelines?
Your office may have invested a lot in making everything in the workplace conducive for performing employees’ tasks. This might not be the case with your home. Some companies that offer home-based jobs have mandatory guidelines in place, like having a reliable internet connection, a designated work area, quality desktop or laptop computers, and sometimes a dedicated phone. If you do not have these yet, this may mean you have to spend money to invest in these things before taking on a remote job.
Is it easier for you to work from home than having a full-time job?
If you are thinking that working from home is a lot easier than working at the office as a reason to shift careers, you are probably wrong. While it is true that you will be able to avoid the hassle of commuting to your office, the traffic avoided might be the only stress that you will be able to dodge. Since you are at home, companies may observe your working time through software, with some applications even taking a screenshot of your computer from time to time at regular intervals. Since there are no given ‘office hours’ you may have to work more sometimes. Also, keep in mind that since you are never out of the office, you may receive phone calls at odd hours more and more.