And have fun while working from home
When I started Interim Business Solutions way back in November 2005, working from home wasn’t the norm. My business was like a ninja; hidden from view and no one could know of my home-based existence.
If I had to make a phone call, I would make sure my kids (who were little back then) were happily entertained and not going to come running in screaming. I used to say the kids never needed me until I picked up the phone…
These days, if anyone was to have an issue with me working from a home office, they’re not my ideal client.
And I love being a business owner and working from home. But it’s not for everyone. You do need to have certain traits to survive, but for me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
I thrive on the flexibility and the variety of working from home. And as many of you know, I don’t tie myself to my home office either. You can work anywhere you have power and an internet connection. My biggest bonus: escaping Victoria’s winter to lap up the sun in Far North Queensland – heaven.
Here are my top 5 ways I have a fun, yet productive day working from home as a VA
- Coffee treat
I’ve always been an early bird, so I start work at 6am. I use the first hour of my day to check emails, do banking, getting my to-do list in order, completing any minor tasks, and making sure Mr Teen gets off to school. I then power waddle to my local café and treat myself to a fantastic double-shot latte. My motto has always been, ‘make hay while the sun is shining’ so I have no worries about treating myself to a $4 coffee each day. I deserve it.
- Designated, comfortable and newly renovated workspace
If you’re working from home, you need to make your workspace comfortable. Just like you would in a corporate office, you want to set yourself to feel like you’re ready to work. Treat yourself to making your workspace amazing. Hang up pictures, buy a comfortable chair, give yourself space, make sure you’re lighting is sufficient, paint it your brand colours, have fun with it. I recently renovated my home office. I now find my new office space enjoyable and don’t mind spending so many hours here each day.
- Work when it suits
Most of us start our home business with the excitement of ‘flexibility’. You should always hold onto this. I am a morning person so starting at 6am suits me. To be highly productive, I work in blocks of time and keep distractions to a minimum: closing the office door and switching off social media works for me. And then at the end of the day, I stop work. It’s one thing you must remember to do – STOP working all hours of the day! You need a break to recharge your batteries.
- Work with those I choose
One of the best things about being a business owner is working with who you want. I love connecting with clients (new and existing) through social media. It’s a great tool for networking and marketing, and I have it open most of the day, looking for opportunities to connect with others. I fill my client list with gorgeous, smart and gracious people. They make my working day totally enjoyable and rewarding. One of the hardest thing for a VA to learn is, there’s always another client, keep searching until you find those you’d love to work with.
As I mentioned before, I love to work in blocks during the day. Work blocks allow me to have some flexibility for ‘me time’. Weather permitted, I try to do a 30-60 minute walk each day (in addition to my morning coffee power-waddle). Walking helps me to keep my body moving and keep weight gain to a minimum. It’s also my therapy for clearing my head, thinking and planning. I also love to get out into my garden or sneak away for a romantic lunch with my shift-working husband.
These five things are why I love working from home. I enjoy my own company, so I’ve never found it to be lonely. My morning coffee and awesome network on social media help keep me connected to the outside world.
And before I let you get back to your day, I need to tell you that I DON’T work in my pyjamas. The myth that most of us who work from home wear pyjamas all day is rubbish. I couldn’t think of anything worse – I’d want to be having naps!
Do you work from home? What’s your top tip for working remotely?