Working from home might sound appealing yet daunting for people who have no idea where to start and how to make it their reality.
We get so engrossed with the perks that we often forget to consider that just like any endeavor, working from home requires a lot of planning and decision-making. We break down some of the most important things to consider when you want to take the leap.
Hold up. There’s more to working from home that you should know about.
Working from home means you will be interacting with people from all walks of life, all over the world. Diversity on its own is a good thing, but differences in behavior, language and practices in the workplace might come off as a challenge – especially when you are trying to get things done.
Certain cultures are used to saying “yes” to everything at work in an attempt to show competence, no matter how unrealistic the request may be. This is probably one of the first big change that you should expect when working from home. Modern and progressive companies online rely heavily on communication and feedback, and they will be asking you to voice your opinions – even if it goes against people high up in the chain.
Hardware and Home Office Setup
You should treat your home office just like any other investment. First off, you have to figure out a dedicated space where you can work with the least distractions possible. Find a spot away from anything that generates noise – traffic, pets, and as much as we love them – kids.
When investing in hardware, you should know right off the bat what your line of work calls for. If you are doing design, might as well start with a modern computer with a dedicated graphics card. If you are taking inbound or outbound calls, you might want to invest in a high-end headset with noise-cancelling mic. Most companies will require you to have a modern desktop or laptop, headset, webcam and stable internet connection at a minimum.
One of the most important things that you should also consider is having a secondary place to work in case of power or internet outages. Having a laptop and knowing where the nearest coffee shop is important when you decide to make the shift.
We often hear of people getting so excited with the thought of having to work from home and not having to worry about what to wear and waking up early to avoid the hassles of commuting. These are awesome perks but on the flip side, having to work from home means you will have to learn to manage yourself and your time to stay productive. Creating a separate planner for both work and your personal life can help maintain your focus for the day.
Most companies either have project management and time-tracking tools so you would know what to prioritize while staying productive when working from home. A quick online search will show you the most popular tools that companies use (you can even sign up for a free tier if available so you can get a feel for how to use them).
Contributions and Benefits
Probably the most asked question when deciding to working from home (and rightfully so) is about your personal contributions and benefits. Some people have worked decades for companies without understanding how these things work – and that is probably one of the most important considerations that you have to think about, as you will have to learn the ins and outs of remitting your contributions personally.
There is no clear-cut approach when it comes to benefits, and every company treats it differently. Use due diligence and ask about these things outright when interviewing for a job.
Now that you have a better understanding of some of the important things you have to consider when working from home – does it turn you off? or does it appeal to you? As with any career shift, there are trade offs. In the end, what matters is choosing the environment you’ll thrive in.
Having so used to working from home, you wouldn’t want to know what the author was wearing when he wrote this article.