More people are working from home than ever before, and some experts assert this is indefinitely our new normal, notes McKinsey. This is great news for digital nomads who don't want to be tethered to an office. However, this does come with some unique challenges.
The following guide from Global Threads is designed for individuals who are working from home for the first time. Read on for budget-friendly tips to help you adapt to your new situation.
Cover Your Business Basics
If your new lifestyle stems from taking a leap into business ownership, it’s important to address all the necessary details early on. Fortunately, most of these can be easily handled through affordable DIY efforts. Begin with a solid business plan, then look to secure your funding. You’ll also need to establish a business structure. Starting a new business as a sole proprietorship can be the best option at first -- an LLC can be full of landmines if you don’t know what you’re getting into. Finally, file for any licenses and permits, create a business website, and prepare a digital marketing strategy.
Create a work-from-home space.
Set aside a designated space in the home for work. Ideally, you will have a separate room you can use as a home office. If not, place a small desk in the bedroom — a secluded place where you can concentrate without interruptions from your partner or kids. Duke University suggests creating an ergonomic workspace to maximize your comfort, such as placing your monitor at eye level.
Find ways to immerse yourself in your new corporate culture virtually.
If you’re working for someone else, Immersing yourself in corporate culture is easier when you have in-person opportunities like office team-building events and mid-day lunch breaks with coworkers. So what happens when you're working from home? It's still possible to get to know your new company virtually. Ask about virtual onboarding or team-building events. Many companies are finding ways to keep workers engaged remotely with social events like bingo or book clubs.
If your company doesn't have these options, ask if you can organize a virtual event. This is also a great way to raise your profile and network without spending any money. If you're still struggling, try a one-on-one approach: Ask a senior worker to serve as your virtual mentor.
Create clear expectations regarding your work schedule.
It can be difficult to separate your personal and professional life when you're working at home. The work-from-home shift has people working longer hours than in the past. It's important to set boundaries, however. Make it clear to your employer when you are and aren't available.
A shared calendar that colleagues and bosses can access is an easy way to show when you aren't at your desk. Tools like Google Calendar are free to use. It's also important to set boundaries for yourself. Designate a stop time for your workday. When you've reached that point, stash your work papers out of sight and step away from the desk.
Find affordable ways to minimize work-related stress.
Per Psychology Today, remote worker burnout is on the rise. Be proactive about minimizing home office stress. Start your mission to minimize anxiety by equipping your office space with an anti-stress toolkit. Place a stress ball on your desk, for example, and keep a plant nearby. Why? Office plants help to alleviate stress. Taking exercise breaks is also a great way to be proactive in the fight against stress. These are affordable — yet effective — steps that can help you keep your cool during a busy workday.
With these tips, you can find success and happiness in a home office environment, whether it’s through your own venture or working for someone else. Best of all, implementing these tips won't cost you much.
Global Threads is a company of t-shirt enthusiasts, designers, innovators and problem solvers. We go beyond creative designs. Collaboration has been, and continues to be, at the core of generating great ideas and visuals for our customers. Learn more at www.globalthreadsllc.com.