A new study suggests that those who don’t work from home at least some of the time are now in the minority. According to CNBC, some 70% of workers globally work from home one day per week or more.
The share of workers who spend all their valued time in a home office is smaller, but still impressive. According to reporting from QZ, more than 8 million Americans worked from home full-time in 2017. That figure is rising steadily.
If you’re one of the millions who works from home full-time, or you’re considering making the switch to full-time work-at-home employment, you know what you’re up against. Working from home has plenty of advantages, but it’s also trying for those who thrive around others. How can you fulfill your dreams of making your own hours in the comfort of your own home without sacrificing your precious quality of life?
It can be done. These five strategies are proven to work for full-time at-home workers seeking greener pastures.
1. Take Short, Frequent Breaks
Many at-home workers follow the 5/60 rule, taking five minutes off for every hour of work. Others take even shorter breaks at more frequent intervals. You know best how you work.
2. Choose a Work-at-Home Opportunity That’s Right for Your Lifestyle
Look for opportunities to get out of your home office and interface with clients. That may necessitate a new line of work. For example, fundraising distributors sell high-profile fundraising products that help school groups, nonprofits, and other worthy causes raise sorely needed cash. It’s a potentially lucrative, highly social business for those inclined to it: According to figures provided by ABC Fundraising, full-time fundraising distributors can earn $500 to $5,000 or more per month while working from home.
3. Work Outside the Home One Day Per Week (Even If Your Job Doesn’t Demand It)
Feeling claustrophobic? Post up at your local coffee shop and lose yourself in the buzz of human activity. If you’re the sort who performs better with a bit of background noise, you’ll want to keep a standing coffee date with yourself.
4. Invest in Home Office Creature Comforts
Without verging too far into the realm of distraction, make your home office a place you actually enjoy “commuting” to. Maybe you’ll add a daybed, or a signature piece of wall art, or a bird feeder outside the window. You’re the boss, after all.
5. Reward Yourself When You Meet Key Milestones
Lastly, treat yourself when you deserve it — after completing a big project, landing a new client, or reaching a personal revenue goal. The reward doesn’t need to be lavish, but it should incentivize you to do even better next time.
Your Home Office Shouldn’t Feel Like a Prison
If you’ve given these strategies the old college try to no avail, more drastic measures may be in order. A part-time coworking membership that forces you out of the house two or three days per week could do the trick. So could a concerted investment in your personal health and wellness — whether that means beginning a program of regular exercise, working with an occupational therapist, or pursuing a new line of work that takes you out of the house more often.
Whatever you decide, remember: It’s your career, and only you have the power to make the most of it.