To work from home can be the solution for global nomads, family carers, consultants and many change devotees. We explore the pros and cons of working from home, and look at how this can be the final frontier of a 360 lifestyle change. Do you want to work from home too? Is your change due to a relocation, or the result of a ‘new you’? We give you resources, tips and ideas to find your way to working from home.
Work From Home: A Change In Lifestyle
This post is dedicated to anyone who wishes to change the way to work and live. Finding work life balance is not easy. Working from home can be a way to find equilibrium as it gives you the possibility, and ability, to pursue meaningful work, while still having a balanced home life.
To work from home is a change in lifestyle which can be provoked by moving countries (again), or the result of a ‘new you’. It can also be the ideal solution for a family carer or semi-retiree, who needs supplemental income and stimulation.
Lifestyle changes can be life altering. When I started to find ways to become healthier, it was a step by step process that took me on new roads. This journey of self exploration made me realise how much more energy I had. The final frontier to the 360 lifestyle change was the fact that I no longer wanted to be part of a 9 – 5 career scenario. In addition my partner works away for weeks on end and for us to spend time together when he was on R and R seemed tougher and tougher if I was to continue working the way I did. The dream of working from home started to take a hold. I decided to stop dreaming, and just ‘do it!’.
When you decide to work from home — be prepared for a change. You need independence, discipline, and ethics to work from home. You need facts, figures, legal advice, good internet connection, domestic logistics, and of course the actual job.
If you are thinking about working from home – read on to find links and resources how to you find that job. We also explore the pros and cons, and give you tips on how to solve the connectivity, network and domestic wrangling issues.
Let’s first explore who might be suited to work from home.
Work From Home: Is It For You?
Working from home isn’t for everyone. Many thrive on the sense of community that comes with a work place, and like the challenges of office set-ups and teams. For others however the idea of leaving home to go to work, becomes more tricky. Let’s look at the scenarios when working from home can be a solution.
- You have a new idea, and want to explore your ability to set up on your own to pursue this dream. You have the skill set, economic funds, investment and ability to become self-employed.
- You are faced with a change in employment, growing children, retirement or other circumstance which promotes the need to get an income.
- You have been on a road of change already, and explore the possibility to combine home and work life in a meaningful way. To work from home becomes the completion of a 360 lifestyle change
- Family and children can be a strong reason from wanting to work from home, and many have found how they have thrived by being able to expand their minds, as well as have time for daily life in a way that suits the whole family. You can opt to apply for jobs which require you to have computer, and internet connection, a phone and willingness to work from your house. You can also set up your own business based on an idea or skill that you have.
- You move around the world with a partner. The global nomad often has to make choices in terms of ability to work. In a couple, one partner may find him/herself as a ‘trailing spouse‘. To work from home is a definite solution, especially if this work is on-line and not bound by work permit issues or legal entanglements. You must not have your own business to do this, as many companies offer legitimate global jobs where you can work from your home. Check out below for resources, links and tips.
- Your employer is exploring cost cutting / wellness options and propose telecommuting. You look at the overall package, family situation and consider how this might fit you.
Work From Home: Types of Jobs
You can explore working from home from the emotional, family or relocation angle. However, before you even dare to start the set up of a home office, you need to know what kinds of jobs that might be available.
- Company Employment: Many companies offer work-from-home jobs which are available both for the domestic and international market. You need not live in the country, nor report in person to a workplace. Forbes recently wrote an article about the Top 100 Employers For Remote Jobs. So called Global Telecommuting Jobs can certainly be explored by the expat accompanying partner as the options are many, and legal from a work permit and tax standpoint.
- Self Employed: To set up a small business takes investment, and a good idea that will allow you to explore your own capabilities to the max. There is no guarantee of profit, nor that it will work when you set it up. You need time, patience and a lot of ‘get go’. The change in pace and lifestyle will surprise you at first especially when you realise that you are your own boss, and as such a pretty tough task master. Check out the tips and hints for how to make your new life with working from home.
- Freelance Consulting: To work on contract basis for a variety of clients is based on you having a skill to offer clients. In a way freelancing crosses between the company employee working from home and the small business owner. You may have to have your own work permit, and take care of your tax returns, and insurances, but in essence you will work from home with a range of clients that pay you to produce a service.
Work From Home: Pros and Cons
Working from home has its definite pros but, also some perhaps surprising cons.
You might think that working from the comfort of you own home sounds like a dream. It is however, very much a question of drawing the demarkation line between ‘home’ and ‘work’. You need job skills, motivation, independence, discipline and ethics. As well as a good internet connection…
- You cut your commute to zero, and save costs. You also avoid the stress that goes with commuting.
- You save on office clothing, and can dress in whatever way you wish.
- You set your own pace, and schedule (which can also work against you!)
- You have no boss, and team to manage. It is you, yourself and you alone that solves every issue.
- You can fit your family life, healthy meals, fitness and sunny days into your work schedule in a way that brings balance and harmony.
- You can explore your creativity, ideas and dreams in a way that you never could before.
- You choose who you work with, and it is up to you to network to get your work related social scene going.
- You can take your work with you wherever you go. Holiday destination combined with work? Yes, You can do that!
- You depend on good internet connection, phone and technical support. When one (or all!) conk out it is up to you to solve this. It may mean extra investment in satellite internet connection, a new phone line and on-line tech support.
- You will spend a lot of time (especially in the beginning) to solve admin issues, legal frameworks, and insurance issues if you don’t have a company behind you. In itself each one of these entities costs money that you need to budget for.
- Your family (and friends) may not be used to having you around all day. They consider you being there a bonus and an invitation to chat. They may interrupt or ask whatever comes into their heads. The importance of laying down ground rules for ‘work’ versus ‘home’ time becomes crucial.
- You can feel the need to socialize, and bounce ideas with someone. Work from home can limit the natural office coffee break, or ball plank of trusted colleagues.
- You will not know (especially in the beginning) where your next job, client or long-term prospects are. Plan for the unexpected, and have plan B, C and possibly Ds too.
- Your domestic setup will challenge you. The boundary between work and home life time has to be considered so they don’t flow in to each other.
- Motivation can flounder and when you hit bumps in the road it can feel lonely, hard and difficult.
Work From Home: Tips and Hints
The best tips to get start work from home is to get organised. By this I mean, getting your setup straight so you have a framework.
- Don’t Dream – Do! Get your facts, legal advice, internet search, expat networks and trusted friends advice. It is easy to give up before you start, so don’t dream – do! Find out if the most optimal for you is to ask for a telecommuting option from your employer; find on-line work from home jobs; freelance consulting or start your own business. Each one of the options requires you to have a framework of rules, regs and equipment. You might be surprised what your search digs up – and before you write off the idea of working from home – explore it to the max.
- Home Office: You need your work space that is not a corner of a living room. You need a real area to set up a desk, filing system, printer and computer with shelves for work related material. Finding your dedicated area for work is essential for the overall success – whichever type of work from home you do.
- Funds: If you go in blind to the costs that are involved you might be in for a nasty surprise, as even a company employment from home will require you to get updated computing and networking connections. You may need you own health insurance, and private pension scheme, as well as certification costs for some jobs. Get a realistic picture of set up versus running costs and take help from others who have done this before. Explore if your country, or network has stipends, loans or grants to set up your business – or support work-from-home for wo/men.
- Insurances/Pension: With a change in work place, or start-up of our own business you need to make sure that your social securities (health / life insurance, pension etc) are covered. Check out what your country / spouse related entitlements / private companies offer – and cater for these costs in your overall budget.
- Internet Connection: The home network may not be sufficient, as other family member will be using it for their social needs, downloads etc – and you can get held up or hold them up too. My solution was to get satellite internet which gave plenty of extra mega from my rural home. You can check out which providers exist in the US, Africa, Asia and Europe by looking at the ads – and the gear that comes with such an investment.
- Work / Life Schedule: Give yourself a clear line between work and home life that works for you. Not everyone is made for 9-5 working hours, and when you are the boss of your time, you can decide how to split up your day. However, once your routine is tried and tested – stick to it! It is far too easy to work too much — or too little. Working from home requires you to be disciplined, and respect your client. You will also need to ask respect from family members, as your work time is yours even if you are located in your house.
- Network On-Line: Each business has its counter parts. There are countless groups on-line dedicated to discussion, forums and legitimate chat rooms where you can socialize, solve minor issue and get ideas.
- Respect Yourself: Make sure to keep in touch with the world 🙂 . It can be easy to fall into a routine of pyjama sloppiness if you’re not careful. This in turn can lead to an uncared for attitude towards your work. By setting yourself a healthy, active routine of getting up the same time, dressing for work (yes, comfortably!) and sticking to schedule you will keep balanced in all areas of your life.
Work From Home: Links and Resources
- Work From Home in 2016: The Top 100 Companies for Remote Jobs
- 10 Best (and Real) Work At Home Jobs
- How To Become a Freelance Consultant
- 20 Great Home Based Business Ideas
- Global Telecommuting Jobs for International Expats
- International Telecommuting and Part Time Jobs (from Home)
- Global Work At Home Resources
- How To Survive Working From Home – Tips and Tricks
Work From Home: Your Investment in You
Many support themselves by working very successfully from their homes. Yes – there are some hurdles you may have to go through but, these can easily be overcome if you get your facts, figures and resources in order. Don’t give up before you start. Check out the links in this post, get organised and check out what options could suit you and your life.
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