Many people think working from home sounds like a dream come true. Unfortunately, many make mistakes that jeopardize their livelihoods. Knowing what these mistakes are and how you can avoid them is key to success in a work-at-home role.
- Not dressing the part. Being able to roll out of bed and get right to work while still in your pajamas may seem like one of the biggest benefits of working from home, but it can actually hinder your productivity. Maybe you don’t need to put on a three-piece suit every morning, but dressing professionally helps you get in the right mindset for work, even if you’re only commuting as far as your home office. Likewise, knowing that you look good gives your self-confidence a boost, and that’s sure to impact your on-the-job performance.
- Not paying attention to your surroundings. In a work-at-home role, you’re likely to need to hop on Skype or other video conferencing platforms – another reason why it’s important to dress the part. Think about not only your own appearance in video calls but also how the room behind you looks. If you’re working out of your bedroom, for example, make sure you’re sitting at a desk – not in bed – and that the room behind you is neat, with no dirty laundry or clutter that would send off an unprofessional vibe.
- Multi-tasking. When you work from home, it’s tempting to try to squeeze in non-work-related tasks – such as laundry, dinner prep, or other housework. But this is behavior you should avoid, even if no one is literally watching you – the lack of focus will show in the quality of your work and your level of productivity. Treat your at-home job as a job to stay on-task.
Working from home provides benefits to both employers and employees, and it allows a level of flexibility that can boost your job satisfaction. It’s important, however, to avoid mistakes like the ones above – your professional reputation likely depends on it.