PERSONAL FINANCE: Tips on working from home

Friday February 17 2017

If you want to get the most out of your

If you want to get the most out of your home-based business, you have to act like you are in an office. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Working from home is one of the ways your business can get started if you don’t want to incur the cost of a fully-fledged office, and don’t need specialised space like a warehouse or a factory. When I started my first business, I soon found out that all I required was a phone, Internet connection and a laptop.

Perhaps your business does not require you to be at the office all the time, or perhaps you work for an employer who allows you to work from home every so often. Whatever your situation, here are a couple of things you can do to make sure you get the most from the experience.

Know what you plan to do that day that you are working from home. If you don’t have a specific agenda, you will be distracted by all sorts of things – the series you love and haven’t finished; the closets that need clearing; the dishes that need washing; the bulbs that need changing. Be clear about the task(s) you need to complete that day. Establish the time that you will start working, the same way you report into work at a specific. Avoid distractions as much as possible. There are days I have tried to work from home only to spend most of the day on the phone dealing with the same issues I would be dealing with if I was in the office. When this happens, the entire benefit is taken away. Put the phone away and check it periodically so you can get your work done. Make sure that you inform anybody who may be at home that you are not to be interrupted.

Work in a specific place. You have a specific desk at work, and you should set aside a particular place to work when you are at home, too. It could be a spare room, your dining table, a spot in your living room or a place in your bedroom. It’s up to you. Choose a place where there is silence and little clutter so that you can think and concentrate.

Dress for success. It is tempting to stay in pyjamas because you are at home, or dress extremely casually. Do not do this. Dress in a way that signals to your mind that you are working. While it may not be a neck and tie suit, it is not pyjamas either. We all know the clothes we wear when we want to signal to the mind that we are relaxing on the couch. Don’t wear those.

Be ready for a tug of war within yourself. You mind may wander and be tempted by other activities but like most things in life, practice makes perfect. When it does work, it is very rewarding. You get to really focus in way that you can’t when there are other people around you. I have also found that because of this, you spend a fraction of the time on the same tasks as you would in an office setting. The way you use your time is directly related to wealth creation. You may not see it now, but the more you get out of your hour and the smarter you are with it, the more wealth you create. Make ‘working from home’ work for you.

Waceke, runs a programme on entrepreneurship. To sign up, email her at [email protected]| Facebook/centonomy or go to