If you've been a high flying corporate person who has to suddenly contend with being a stay-at-home parent and are preparing for the exhilaration, excitement, chaos and exhaustion, here are a few tips to help you settle into the joys and challenges of being a home worker. This work-at-home mom lifestyle guide prepares you for your new dexterous role that can be highly rewarding and immensely fulfilling.
Know When to 'Switch Off'
Working from home, quite contrary to popularly held notions, makes you work even more because there is no demarcation of work time and after hour's leisure time. The prospect of taking on a lot of assignments and running on the work treadmill nonstop seems absolutely alluring. This can greatly hamper productivity and cause stress related ailments.
For a balanced work-from-home lifestyle, it is vital to snatch a few hours from your work schedule, and indulge in some fun activities involving you and your kids. It can be anything from taking a walk in the park to dancing and cooking together, or even clearing old, unwanted stuff from the house and organizing a garage sale. The idea is to engage in enjoyable therapeutic activities that help in soothing your tired nerves and help you get back to your work with increased efficiency.
Have a Fixed Space and Routine
Organize a special space in the house that is meant exclusively for your 'home office'. Make sure the place is well-lit, airy and fosters concentration with a quiet ambiance. It is also extremely important to have comfortable seating and a well-organized desk. To allow you to separate your work and personal life in your mind, your work room should be a little out of the way and inaccessible to other members. It helps you psychologically alienate and distinguish between business time and private time by experiencing the necessary vibes from a particular place.
Using bright colors and adding a professional touch to your set-up is a good idea to boost your productivity. A lot of home workers are very careless about the way they maintain their home offices and don't lay stress on professionalism. Working in a professional manner will subconsciously lead your attitude and show in your results. It is also significant to chalk out a fixed routine on a daily basis to avoid chaos, clashing of duties and the tendency to be taken for granted. If you want to be respected as a home-working professional, take your work seriously and have a marked routine to avoid falling into the trap of an overtly flexible schedule that proves counter-productive to your professional and financial goals.
Teach Others to Respect your Work
Be clear about your role as a work-from-home mom and have clearly elucidated duties. The last thing you want is people treating your work frivolously just because you are operating from home. Treat your work with the seriousness with which you want other people to treat it. Don't ever tolerate comments that belittle your work or present it in an unflattering light.
Forge a perception that though the place has changed, your attitude to work remains exactly the same as a formal office set-up. Get spouses to co-operate and offer a supportive hand when required, to help with the house and the kids. Build your own identity through productive work and financial rewards, and don't fall into the trap of being taken for granted or 'always being there' for your children.
Though working from home can be highly fulfilling and convenient, there are a few points that you need to take care of to avoid a hassle filled, chaotic and stressful work-from-home experience.