Do you dream about waking up in the morning, walking sleepily down the hall to your home office with a steaming Cup of Joe, and plopping down in your chair to start working? Imagine the amount of money you’ll save on gas, clothing, and childcare working from home. With today’s technology, it’s possible to make your fantasy of working at home a reality.
Consider the following as you decide whether you’re a good candidate for working from home:
1. Do you work for a national or international company? The larger the company, often the more flexibility you’ll have to work from home.
2. Is your company progressive? If the owners and management think out of the box and embrace change, you’re in a great position to inquire about working at home.
3. Do you have a computer-oriented job? If most of your work is on the computer, present a good argument as to how you can remain productive working from home. As long as you have a computer at home, you can get the proper software to perform your job at home.
• You’ll have less co-worker interruptions when you work at home. If your house is quieter than working in a buzzing, lively office setting, you might be able to get more work done each day.
4. Can you obtain the special supplies your job requires? For example, a design architect will need a drafting table and various drawing tools, plus a computer to work from home. The nature of your work is a huge determinant as to whether you can work from home.
5. You’ll need a designated workspace. Nothing fancy, a desk and chair devoted to work will suffice, along with a computer and internet connection.
6. How flexible is your boss? Supervisors and managers who demonstrate more flexibility in the work setting are more likely to agree to a trial period where you work at home. Let’s face it, if lockdown hasn’t provided the opportunity to give you a practice run at this, your employers are unlikely to support it during another time! If your supervisor knows you well and understands your work, then they might be more willing allow a trial work at home situation.
• During the trial period, (or during lockdown) you have an opportunity to demonstrate how well you can perform in your own home setting.
• When speaking with your supervisor, remember to mention that companies that promote more flexible work schedules benefit from less absenteeism and have reduced turnover.
7. Can you motivate yourself to get your work done? If you want to work from home, it’s important for you to possess certain personal and professional characteristics. Are you a self-starter? Can you diligently follow a work schedule?
• If you’re self-motivated and super-responsible, it’s likely you’ll be able to work from home with great success.
8. Can you prevent distractions at home? Think about everything that could interrupt or disturb your work efforts at home. It will be necessary for you to take steps to ensure your work won’t be disrupted.
• However, if you live alone or with a partner that works away from home full-time during the same time you’ll be doing your job, you’re already ahead of the game in terms of creating a productive work environment.
Depending on your company, the type of work you do, and your motivation, working from home might be a perfect solution. Think through these considerations to help you determine whether working in a home office setting is right for you. In the end, it just may pay off for you and your employer in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction.