In the current recession, many entrepreneurial types are taking the opportunity to set up on their own. To keep overheads low, working from home is a great idea. However, for those used to the structure of working in an employer’s offices, being your own boss demands a certain amount of self-discipline. The top five lessons that I have learnt from my own experience are:
1. Maintain some boundaries between home and work life – if it’s possible to separate the two by having a dedicated room or space for business that you can leave at the end of the work day, so much the better, otherwise everything blurs into one. Result? You never switch off (or you never get started …).
2. Build some structure into your day: planning is critical to making progress, otherwise it’s easy to get sidetracked by an interesting email, article or website, and suddenly the day is gone. Also good to plan events that get you outside your own four walls. Creativity rarely flourishes without some contact with the outside world!
3. Resist the temptation to take personal calls (unless urgent, obviously) during your work time. If you can afford a separate business line, life is much easier.
4. Think twice before holding face-to-face meetings at home. Personal safety and maintaining professionalism are key. Meeting in a quiet coffee shop or renting an office by the hour might be preferable. If you do decided to invite clients in to your home, check your insurance details for cover.
5. Get out of your dressing gown and into some work clothes, however informal! You’ll definitely think differently, and if a potential client requests a meeting, you’ll be good to go.