When it comes to the many types of flexible work arrangements available, i.e. job sharing, compressed work weeks and adjusted work hours, working from home (aka telecommuting, teleworking and working remotely) is probably the most sought after by people working across a variety of industries, experiences and skill levels.
People who work from home can:
Work from anywhere. Whether that’s a co-working space, a home office, or my personal favorite – the kitchen table – all you need to be ready to work is a laptop and a WiFi connection.
Save more money. Since you’ll no longer need to spend money on work clothes, public transportation and overpriced lunches, you’ll have more money in your pocket to pay off debt, save, or invest.
Work more efficiently. Ever notice how meetings done via video or telephone conference call seem to stay on topic and run more smoothly than those that are in person? Turns out you’re less likely to shoot the breeze and spend 15 minutes chit chatting about last night’s episode of Game of Thrones when your meeting is held virtually.
Set your own schedule. Now, this won’t be the case for every work from home job, but you’ll find some that offer flexibility around when you work. Whether you’re most productive first thing in the morning or very late at night, you can work whenever’s most convenient for you – as long as you’re getting things done.
There's never been a better time to start working from home, and for the right person, it can be the perfect way to build an exciting and engaging career.
Here are three things you’ve got to do now if you’re ready to transition from an in office schedule to working from home 20-100% of the time.
1. Understand What It Takes to Be Successful Working from Home
Working from home isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of people who are really interested in this lifestyle, but have found out the hard way it’s actually not what’s best for them. So, before you walk into your boss’ office demanding she let you work from home, ask yourself if you’ve got the kind of work ethic that make this type of arrangement work.
Some questions to consider when deciding if working from home is right for you:
Do you need others to motivate you or can you motivate yourself?
When you’re working at home, your boss won’t be there to make sure you’re doing your work every minute of the day. There’s no one to monitor how long your lunch break was or stop you from taking that 45-minute power nap when you should actually be working on your project due by 5 pm. You’ll need to be able to motivate yourself to get your work done every day.
Do you manage your time well?
Think about how easy it is to get distracted by everything going on in the office. Now, multiply that by 100 and that’s how easy it is to get distracted when you work from home. Whether it’s by the mountain dirty dishes in the kitchen sink or the pile of laundry that needs to get washed, if you’re not careful of how you spend your time, you’ll look up and realize it’s 7 pm and you haven’t accomplished anything. If you’re going to be successful at working from home, you’ve got to get good at managing your time so you’re not always falling behind on your deadlines.
Do you know how to set boundaries?
This is something a lot of remote workers struggle with. When your “office” is just down the hall from your bedroom, it can be difficult to unplug and sign off. It's so tempting to just send "one more email" or make "one more phone call". The truth is though that making personal time for yourself can be challenging. But if you want to be happy working from home, then it’s something you’ve got to get good at.
2. Determine What Type of Work from Home schedule You’re Actually Looking For
You may be surprised to know there are different work from home options to choose from. Knowing which one works best for you can make it easier to determine your next steps (i.e. when you're ready to ask your boss for a work from home arrangement or negotiate work from home perks with a new employer).
Work from home options include:
100% Remote: This is when you're never or hardly ever expected to work from the office.
Partially Remote: This is when you work from home one or two days per week. Usually, this set up is more structured and has clear expectations and restrictions on when, where, and how you work when you're not in the office.
Flex-time: This is when you're off one day a week and work longer days throughout the rest of the week. For example, you'd work 12 hours (instead of 8) Monday through Thursday and take off on Fridays.
Work from home jobs aren't one size fits all and it's important you and your boss are on the same page with what "working from home" actually means before you commit to an arrangement.
3. Filter Your Job Search For Work from Home Jobs
Now that you know what it takes to work from home and you know what kind of arrangement you'd like to have, it's time to find some work from home jobs!
This is often the most challenging part of the process because it's hard to locate open positions that will actually entertain a semi or fully work from home arrangement.
Below is a list of 10 job boards that exclusively post remote opportunities. This list will help you kick start your work from home search.
Now, let me know in the comments the answers to these 3 questions:
- What's your main reason for wanting to work from home?
- Which work from home arrangement would you be interested in having?
- Which job board are you going to try first?