Working from home is pretty great, especially when you’re looking for that added bit of flexibility in your life as a parent. A work from home parent not only does it allow you to have control over your own working habits, but it also enables you to pick your kids up from school, be there in an emergency, and generally change your schedule should you need to. This is key as a parent, and it’s a working style that many would prefer to have over the confines of 9 ‘til 5 working.
However, what should you know if you’re a work from home parent? We’ve noted down 7 things here, for those looking to make it in home-based working.
#1: You need to be motivated
Of course, working from home means that you don’t have somebody else around checking up on what you’re doing. This allows you to have days off when you want to, and you can put your feet up and watch TV if you’d prefer, but of course, this won’t make you any money. Before you begin working from home, ensure that you’re motivated enough to make a success out of it, and don’t fall into the trap of losing your mojo.
#2: You have to sort your own taxes
Being self-employed, you’ll need to sort out all of your own taxes, and you’ll also need to make sure that what you’re doing is actually legal. This all depends upon where you live, and the type of business that you’re conducting. If you have clients and you use your own home as your base (for example, if you’re a home-based beautician) then you may be breaking some homeowner laws, although this isn’t always the case.
#3: You need to find your working style
Whatever you’re doing, from writing a blog to running your own business from home, you need to find your working style. Do you prefer to work in a home office, or can you get your freelance work done from the comfort of your sofa? Are you a night owl (and are you OK with working at night) or do you prefer to get things done within the normal working hours of 9 ‘til 5? Find your working style, and try to stick to it.
#4: You can do it alone
Opening your own business from home can seem like an extremely stressful endeavour. It’s only you around calling all of the shots, so can you really make it as a one woman or man team? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’, and there are plenty of other parents out there who are going freelance and making a lot of cash out of doing so. Whether you ease some of the stress with a live virtual receptionist or you ask your family to help out, you can do it!
#5: You need to enforce work boundaries
Working from home means, well, just that: you’re working from the comfort of your home, where you usually relax, unwind, and spend time with your family. Blurring the lines of work and relaxation can present difficulties for some, especially if you find it hard to switch off from the stresses of working. Enforce boundaries; for example, work no later than 7pm each day, and make time for your family, too.
#6: You’ll have to fight procrastination
One of the main issues that people have when working from home is that they’re over-stimulated, simply because they are in their own homes. When you’re sitting there trying to work – even in your home office – you’re thinking about the cleaning that you have to do, how you could make yourself lunch, and the fact that you deserve 5 minutes to nap, because who’s there to stop you? Fight this as much as you can!
#7: You will benefit in the long-run
Of course, working from home isn’t all bad. As a parent, it allows you a lot of freedom, and you have more control over your income compared to office-based roles. It means that you can be there for your kids should they need you, and it also allows you to work in a style that is properly suited to you. Remember that once you have a great work-life balance and you’re motivated enough to work from home successfully, you’ll thrive more than ever!
If you’re a work from home parent (or you’re considering heading into the world of freelance employment) then keep these 7 things in mind. Before you know it, you’ll be increasing your income significantly, and enjoying all of the benefits that being home-based can offer. Good luck!