Working From Home and Loving It

Bowling Green, KY (November 4, 2019) – We live in an exciting time! Technology now provides people with the freedom to create their own work styles and career paths. Ponder this: Your office chair is your couch. Your commute is the length of your hallway. Your snack drawer is your kitchen cupboard. Think it’s just a dream? Not the case — remote work is very much a reality!

Jobs that let you work from home — an arrangement known as telecommuting — are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36 million workers (25 percent) worked at home (FT and/or PT) in 2018. They cited better work-life balance, increased productivity, lack of commute, better focus, more time with family, and less stress as some of the many benefits.

Of course, while working from your couch (or kitchen table) sounds great in theory, like everything else, it’s important to understand the pros and cons before you start picking out home office furniture. In fact, teleworkers admit there are downsides to work-from-home jobs. Before you consider working remotely, you need to be aware of these potential pitfalls and how to overcome them:

Interruptions 

You’d think there would be fewer interruptions at home than in a busy office, but that’s not always the case. You might have crying babies and barking dogs in the

background when clients call.

It is crucial that you keep background noise to a minimum. Schedule calls when the kids are at school. To avoid interruptions, create a dedicated area as your office (out of the “traffic flow” of your home and preferably with a door, so you can shut out unwanted distractions) in the quietest part of the house. At the very least, carve out a corner of a room just for work, so going there signals your brain that it’s time to get serious.

Lack of Discipline 

Not everyone has the self-discipline needed to work at home. You must be truly independent and rely on your self-motivation, self-discipline, focus, and concentration.

If that just isn’t you, do not fear. You can develop better habits. Try working a regular schedule, setting deadlines, refusing to look for excuses, and rewarding yourself when you have met your goals. The key is to respect your own time and your schedule — because no one else will respect your boundaries if you don’t respect them first.

Isolation

Working at home offers you isolation from office drama, loud co-workers, and endless chatter. However, you also lose the benefit of mingling with co-workers and supervisors…and it’s hard to replicate that from home. Everyone needs social interaction, and working remotely limits your opportunities to connect with others.

To reduce the negative effects of isolation while working at home, be sure to establish a professional support system. It will help you maneuver through those days when the isolation is overwhelming. Attend industry outings and training events as often as you can. Stay in touch with other co-workers via texting, Skyping, emailing, web meetings, Face-time, etc. Make it a point to schedule lunch or breakfast get-togethers from time to time. It is important to be proactive in finding ways to engage with colleagues.

Tammy F. Spring is the Operations Manager, Digital Works. She is responsible for providing day-to-day oversight of Connected Nation’s Digital Works program, including a wide range of training, mentoring, and supervisory activities. These activities provide guidance for job placement and career growth.

Longer Hours 

It’s easy to “do just a little more work” when the desk is right there, calling to you. It can be tough to mentally drop your work and resume home life when they both take place in the same building. You might find yourself checking work-related emails in the middle of dinner or before you go to bed. Without a natural stopping point, the day gets longer and it’s harder to put work aside.

It may be helpful to set a schedule and then stick to it if you find yourself working longer hours than you had originally planned. It’s always a good idea to have separate emails for personal and business as well.

Is Working From Home Right for You?

Despite the problems working at home can present, I definitely prefer it to leaving the house.

You may not know which is right for you until you try it both ways, but I can tell you this: I’m Working from Home and Loving It!!

If you are interested, please don’t let the potential pitfalls deter you from trying: GO FOR IT!

To learn learning more about our Digital Works training program and placement assistance, visit us at www.digitalworksjobs.org. Best wishes with all of your future remote endeavors!

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