If you’ve had a taste of working from home life over the past two years, there’s a chance that you aren’t quite ready to head back into the office and resume your daily commute. Whether you’re stuck in traffic on rush-hour roads, or you deal with overcrowded public transport every morning, the journey to the office alone can be an off-putting and stressful part of working life.
Working from home takes away that stress, but comes with its own strains and concerns – from finding enough self-motivation, to deciding whether to start your own business or work remotely for another. We’ve put together some of the key things you should think about when deciding to work from home for good.
Set Your Expectations
The Covid-19 Pandemic certainly took its toll on the world but as we ease back into normality, you might find that the circumstances through which you could work from home comfortably might not be available in the same way now. Where you may have had family members home to help with housework or daily errands before, having your partner back at the office or your children back at school can make your to-do list longer and having the separation between home and work that the office provides can help you focus during the day. Alternatively, working from home might give you a bit of extra time to take on any extra tasks like picking up the kids from school, taking your lunch break when you need to or popping out for a quick errand without disturbing the whole workday.
Do You Have The Right Workspace?
If you’ve been working from the kitchen table for the past couple of years, it might be time to invest in a proper work set-up if you’re planning to make it a permanent arrangement. A home office set up in a spare room can provide a comfortable and appropriate space for working that has the added benefit of being separate from your typical day-to-day living spaces. You can create the illusion of ‘going to the office’ without actually leaving the house, giving you the work-life separation and therefore, balance. It can provide you with a space to store any paperwork, technology, stationery and other tools and resources you need while they’re not in use, ultimately improving organisation and keeping them safe.
If you don’t have a spare room available for a full home office, making space for a desk somewhere in your home can have a similar effect if handled properly. Setting up that space as your work area and only using it for work can create that separation, but it’s important to ensure you don’t gravitate back there once work hours are over or your work is done for the day. Having a separate laptop or computer for work as well as a personal one also helps to maintain that separation and ultimately gives you a better workspace for working from home without distraction.
Maintaining Your Health
Your physical and mental health is crucial and no job should be making you sacrifice either. Working from home is no exception. Before making the decision, you should consider how working from home permanently might affect you and what you may need to do to counter any effects. If you typically walk or cycle to work, for example, you could replace your usual commute time with an at-home workout, or go for a walk in the mornings to make up for the missed commute. Physical activity in the morning will help to wake you up and get your mind working ready for a day of work, as well as help you sleep better. It can also help to tackle any loss of comfort from a less ergonomic workspace than you might typically get in a work office.
Your mental health may also suffer while working from home if left unchecked – working from home can be isolating if you aren’t working with people regularly or making time for your social circle outside of work hours. There’s also less support during stressful times, so it’s important to ensure that you are utilising as many stress-reducing techniques and measures as possible, taking breaks and ensuring that you maintain the work-life balance so you can step away from work at the end of a day and live your life separately.
Will You Start Your Own Business?
The next thing you need to decide is whether or not you’re going to start your own business or continue working remotely for another company. If you want the freedom of working for yourself, there are a number of options for at-home small businesses:
- Homemade Products
- Remote IT Services
- Web Management
- Online Classes
- Social Media Management
- Dog Walking
- Virtual Personal Trainer
The possibilities are truly endless for at-home businesses, all depending on the expertise or skills that you have, as well as the resources available to you.
You May Need Insurance
If you’re starting your own business or operating from a permanent home office, you need to consider getting the right insurance to ensure that your business is protected. Office Insurance will provide you with financial protection against any theft, damage or loss involving the building or its contents, including anything from computers, to structural damage. In some cases, you may be able to find a home insurance policy that will include office or working from home protection as standard, however, we can provide you with information and advice about the Office Insurance policies available to you and the best options for your business.
If you’re under 18 and just starting out but have decided to work from home, insurance can seem hard to get hold of but there are specialist policies available on the market. We can help you find the best policies and cover for you and your new business. For more information on what you may need to get your home business started, get in touch with a member of the team for free at Ashburnham Insurance on 0800 1696137.