18 Jul 2016 19:18 IST

Working from home: not as easy as it sounds

Choosing this option in your career comes with its own set of challenges

Working from home is a pretty lucrative option. People consider it a boon since it lets you say goodbye to traffic woes. It lets you pursue your distance education, or an online certification course, on a regular basis.

But if you have interacted with work-from-home professionals, most will tell you that it is not as easy or as luxurious as it sounds. It has its own set of challenges, just like any other career option.

So if you’re considering working from home, here are certain points you should keep in mind before you sign up for it.

Stick to a daily schedule

Being within the comforts of your home all day could make you a bit of a workaholic, giving people an impression that you’re available for work all day. You might put in more number of hours than you would working at office.

This is precisely why you’ll need to be a lot more disciplined and well-organised, and develop excellent time management skills. Draw a clear line demarcating personal and professional time so as to not let one overlap with the other. This is essential to maintain your sanity, especially when you have back-to-back deadlines.

Be a self-starter

The responsibility of ensuring that promised deliveries are made within the set timeline, will be entirely yours; the onus will not be on your company.

Similarly, you will have to be a one-man army when you face other challenges. Power outages or network failures, for example, are normally handled by the maintenance and tech teams in an office. But at home, it is all up to you. You will need to have your own power and Internet backups in place and figure out solutions for unforeseen problems.

When it comes to keeping your boss and team updated with your progress, you will need to take the initiative and answer potential queries they might have. It’s important to stay one step ahead of them in terms of communication, as it is the only way you can make up for the relative lack of face time.

Accept the shortcomings

Your name will have a better recall value if your employers can put a face next to it. Working remotely, naturally, becomes an obstacle in such a case.

In fact, this can hinder your chances of growth simply because your colleague is more visible than you are. Though it may seem like a trade-off, you can still act on your concerns by showing up at office as often as you can for meetings, events and gatherings. Staying in close touch with colleagues and leaders is key to not lagging behind.

Network ferociously

This includes both real and electronic networking. Working from home can block you from building relationships and meeting new people at the workplace.

Therefore, it would serve you well to catch up with colleagues over a weekend for coffee or lunch. Also, get active on LinkedIn and other professional networking sites; make sure you engage online by commenting on posts, as this would reflect upon your domain knowledge.

Having a little foresight and being proactive should be able to take you through the journey, if you are considering opting working from home. Being prepared for the worst is a principle worth following regardless of the stage of your career.