Working from Home: Requirements & Restrictions before Relaxation

It’s the dream of many to work at home: You have a commute time of seconds instead of tens of minutes; you can work in shorts and a t-shirt instead of office wear, and you don’t have to wait until a certain time for a break or lunch. Or do you?

Most people think of working at home is synonymous with working when you want and as much or as little as you want, and in some cases, that might be true, but those “any time or no time” opportunities are extremely rare, and rarely do they happen overnight.

Working at home can be via your own business or telecommuting from home as an employee of another business. Either way, you must possess self-discipline, establish a work routine and accomplish productivity goals.

Many telecommute jobs are encompass telephone sales, customer call centres and transcription services. Generally, you must either meet a sales quote, incoming call quota or word quota. Many employers that offer telecommute positions watch productivity very closely. If you are not able to maintain standards, oft-times you will either be recalled into the office setting during your work hours or be let go.

If you are working from home within your own business, you may find it even harder to meet productivity standards from all the different responsibilities you have: You are Administration, Finance, Marketing, Operations and Sales. You keep the books, pay the bills, create advertising, and render service. You field calls. You make calls. You distribute mail. You arrange delivery.

If you get sick, you have no paid sick days. If you go on vacation, your work sits: You have no back-up. You can certainly start your work day at 10 o’clock, take a break 15 minutes later and pause for a long lunch. Meanwhile, how much money are you making? Are you at least breaking even?

There’s more to working at home than working in a robe and slippers, although those are terrific benefits. Before you delve into the possibility, ask yourself a few questions to help determine if you’re ready for it:

1: Is your expertise area readily adaptable to a work-from-home environment? If your actual hands-on business takes you away from home, how will those in-coming calls get answered or those invoices get mailed?

2: Is your mindset appropriate? Do you have the self-discipline to sit and work for eight or more hours every day? Do you have a tendency to drift onto tangents or get distracted easily?

3: Do you know how to organize, test, evaluate and adjust a marketing campaign? Even local businesses can advertise on the Internet as well as in local papers and magazines. Do you know enough about all types of advertising to generate enough business to sustain your business and pay your personal expenses? Do you have enough financing in reserve to sustain you as you build your business up to the level to which it must be for you to not lose your home?

4: Do you know all the permits you must obtain, if any, including the documentation that identifies your endeavor as a business and not a hobby? There can be serious ramifications in taxes and other regulatory issues if you toil under the wrong legal category.

Working from home can be fun, relaxing and even profitable, so long as you create the proper environment, restrictions and attitudes that will reinforce the freedoms that you will have. Know that it’s not all “fun and games” and that you will have to earn your worth every day, and you, too, can realize your dreams.