Many people wrongly think that working from home will give them the flexibility to work when they want, and how they want all the time. For them, the dream can mean ignoring the alarm clock and getting up whenever they want to get up.
Yes, running your own business from home means you are your own boss, but if you go into it with the same mindset as London Mayor Boris Johnson thinking that you can just skive at home eating cheese, then you’re in for a very rude awakening.
It is true that you are your own boss, but if you work from nine to three one day, and then don’t get up until noon the next day, people won’t take you seriously…and your customers will start to despair of your unpredictable work style.
- Get into a viable routi
When you are setting up your home business, the first thing that you should do is to pick a schedule and stick to it. This way your customers know when they can reach you. This is good for business, and will help keep your customers coming back. It will also mean that you can plan the rest of your life and commitments around this.
- Don’t forget about lunch
Many home business owners get into the habit of working through lunch every working day and don’t even take comfort breaks. This is ok once in a while, but if you were working for an employer, there would be a legal requirement for you to take some sort of break. This isn’t just a formality, it’s because breaks are important for your health and wellbeing.
So, get in the habit of planning breaks during your working day. When you sit down to plan your business hours, figure out a starting time and a closing time, and factor in time for lunch as well.
- Let your customers know your working hours and stick to it
People like to know where they stand – and customers like to know that they are dealing with a professional when it comes to buying a product or service. So, if your hours are nine to five, make sure you are available during those hours even when it’s quiet because you never know who will try to contact you when you decide to bunk off at 3pm. At the very least, if you are not available, leave an out of office message n your answer machine and email – it shows professionalism and lets your customers know that you are not available.
- Don’t go overboard with overtim
Work-life balance isn’t a term coined by the work shy. It’s become a mainstay term because of its importance and the fact that overworking leads to stress, and not spending enough time with family and those who are nearest and dearest to can have a negative impact on your life in the long run.