Chances are these days that if you aren’t working from home, someone you know is. According to 2019 statistics 3.7 million people in the U.S are working from home at least part of the time. That number has gone up 115% over the last 15 years- in the 2010’s thousands of professionals are making their living out of their living rooms, home offices and kitchens.This tremendous shift in workplace culture has a lot to do with the proliferation and accessibility to high speed internet, smartphones and the ability to speak with, make calls to and interact with clients around the world. Our world has both expanded and contracted. We are able to do business with people around the world instantly and the need for offices to access business tools are no longer necessary as so much of what we do can now be done from a home office.
How it Was
Back in the 20th century ( remember that time,oh so long ago? Not you, Millennials) The standard work experience for most was to wake up early, drink a cup of coffee or two, throw on some work attire, sit in a car or a train or a bus for some time until you reached an office. Then for the next 8-10 hours of your day you were surrounded by other people also doing their work , escaping to the break room for someone’s birthday cake leftovers, that third cup of coffee or a chat about last night’s cliffhanger on ER/Boston Legal/Law and Order ( insert your favorite drama from the late 20th century here) The workplace was a place to get work done but it also afforded a certain social life for anyone who interacted with their colleagues. Even small offices still provided some social interaction or simple companionship, whether it was the “good mornings, how was your weekend?” you knew to expect when coming in on Monday or the aforementioned birthday cake on your happy day - workplaces and offices provided a degree, even in just small doses, a social life. People to see, smile at, chat with and in the best circumstances create friendships that connect co-workers in meaningful ways.
How it Is
How does shift from “work from office” to “work from home” affect us as a culture and as individuals? With so many people working from and trends indicating that working remotely will surpass standard workplaces by 2025- what does that mean for our sociability, or lack thereof, as work from home professionals? Psychology Today stated in recent study “ lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure”. We all know that human beings are social creatures. We need that person to person, face to face interactions, even simple ones to help us feel whole and healthy not only emotionally but in a real physical manner as well. Solitude can also trigger anxiety or depression and as fun and easy as it is to work in your pajamas every day- that might not be so great for your emotional health. Getting up, dressed, out of the house and interacting with other real life people, creates healthy habits that the work from home professional may be not be accustomed to practicing.
How to make it work
-Stay organized. A work from home professional is most successful when they are organized and have a clear calendar to schedule meetings, calls and tasks. Booking software, like Book Like a Boss, allows work from home professionals to stay organized and streamline their work with clients, while integrating with other calendars and software. Because you won’t have “Steve” from the cubicle next to yours popping over to break up your day- a clear calendar that delineates your work time and goals while ensuring you have your down time scheduled in- is essential in making sure you don’t drown in hours of work. Make sure to build time into your day when you go for a walk outside or a lunch at a cafe with a friend. The Book Like a Boss calendar allows your clients to learn about you, book with you and see what time you are available for them. Your clients will be happy that they can access you through your booking calendar and payment options without the hassle of a million phone calls and emails and you’ll likely feel the same- with the added satisfaction of profitable business.
-Keep a healthy and positive mindset. According to Catherine Alford, a highly successful entrepreneur who started several business out of her home in order to balance family life and work life, how you think about your work is everything. If you are a freelancer or a work from home professional you need to view setbacks are simply part of the process. Without an office full of people around you it may feel isolating or extra usetting when dealing with a setback. It is important for the work from home professional to really re-frame each “failure” as a stepping stone to the success he or she is working towards.
-Get out a little! The major benefit of working from home and especially if you own your own business is that you are in charge of your time.If you are building your brand this might mean that you need to factor in networking, conferences, parties, continuing education classes, webinars, seminars or other events. This is important for your business to grow. On a personal level- getting out of the house will also be good for your overall health. Book Like a Boss’s calendar and scheduling software allows you to schedule in these events and also share your experiences with potential clients through videos, links to webinars or email marketing about events where you will be presenting.
Working from home can be one of the greatest blessings in your life - it affords you independence and flexibility, eradicates the dreaded work commute and can potentially bring you a lot of financial success. Make sure that you are setting yourself for personal success as well by following some of the suggestions above and you’ll see how working from home can truly work for you.