Golden Rules For Working From Home

Golden Rules For Working From Home

Millions of us now work from home every day. We run this blog from the comfort of our own home, and many of our writers are freelancers. Even in the corporate world, businesses are encouraging their employees to telecommute. It’s a definite trend for 2016, as it’s cheaper, and studies have shown that it improves efficiency. However, it’s not that simple. Sure, we can work in our pyjamas, and have a TV break at lunchtime. But, you need some serious motivation and self-control to make it work. Here are some golden rules you need to live by!

  1. Create boundaries
Golden Rules For Working From Home
Rule #1: Don’t work all night! Photo credit

Working from home instantly blurs those lines between the workplace and your personal time. Setting up an office in your living room is rarely going to work out. You need a clear, defined border, so you can leave the work at the end of the day. If your kitchen is full of work papers and post-it notes, you’re doing it wrong. Give yourself clear, strict working hours, and stick to them. Try to close off the office space, and stay out of it in the evenings.

  1. Set up your work space

Your work space should function as a fully workable office. That means kitting it out with everything you need. Make sure your broadband is fast and operational. If you need a printer or scanner, invest in good quality equipment. You should have everything you need right there in front of you. Remember, you can claim back your expenses as part of your tax return, so buy the best you can afford.

  1. Understand your tax obligation

If you’re a freelancer or running a business, you need to understand your tax obligations. Usually, your employer would take care of this, and deduct your tax bill from your monthly paycheck. If you’re working from home, the responsibility falls on you. Take a weekend to fully understand what you need to do, and keep a running list of all your finances. That means balancing your income, and retaining receipts and invoices. Your expenses (like equipment and even some bills) can be claimed back, so keep track of them.

  1. Run it like a business

Sometimes we forget that working from home is a real business. That means running it like a proper company. Registering for tax is just the first step. You’ll also need to set yourself up as a company. If you’re a freelancer, that means telling the government you’re a sole trader. If you’re running a business, take a look at, and get a legitimate company address.

  1. Take breaks and stay motivated

The hardest part about working from home is trying to stay motivated. There are so many distractions around you, and it would be easy to give in to them! In an office, you can take quick breaks and chat to your colleagues. But at home, there’s no such luxury! It’s still crucial that you take little breaks, and rest your brain every now and then. Trust us, it will keep you sane!

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