7 Practical Routines of Successful Home Workers

Our work habits are changing at a fast pace under the influence of modern work innovations. Some of those features are related to the rapid development of technology. However, some others come as a result of advancements in the way businesspeople manage their businesses.

On the one side, a recent report shows that the majority of workers think that an 8-hour workday is an outdated type of work organization. Truth be told, it’s strange that many companies still insist on a 9-5 workday, given that today we use the latest technology for work operations.

Due to the obvious need for changes when it comes to work organization, modern workers adopt alternative ways of work organization worldwide.

Moreover, many business owners have realized it’s high time to change something in their habits. In line with that, a growing number of companies offer their employees flexible work hours, even in the offline environment. The advent of online project management solutions has created a lot of space for remote work, as well.

While this approach to work might look great at first glance, it requires a special set of skills and routines in order to yield proper results.

Groom and dress smartly

When you start working from home, everything will look great.

If you previously worked long hours in a demanding company, this feeling will be even more intensive. You’ll be able to set your work hours in accordance with your own preferences.

What’s more, at first you’ll also see the benefits of not having to dress up for work. And here’s where self-indulgence should stop. According to the findings of Dr. Karen Pine, a fashion psychologist, wearing casual clothes to work could have a negative effect on productivity.

When you wear casual clothes, your brain gets an impression it’s actually your free time. In turn, your concentration and efficiency wane. As a result, you spend more time doing work tasks than you should.

Therefore, home workers should avoid working in their pajamas and loose home clothes. On the contrary, buying several combinations of pants and shirts and wearing them to your home office will improve your efficiency.

Make your home office look professional

If smart clothes give you a feeling of formality, making your home office look professional will keep you focused. The crucial thing here is to avoid being a literal home digital nomad.

Even if you work on a laptop, changing various workplaces inside your home will affect your commitment to work and damage your concentration. If you live with a partner or with your family, the need for a dedicated workspace is even bigger.

As for giving that special space a business look, get a spacious desk and an ergonomic office chair. Those two are the pillars of your home office (and your sitting body), so don’t save on them. Still, if your initial budget is limited, going for second-hand, renowned brands of office furniture sounds like a viable option.

As for the equipment, consider equipping the office with computer equipment labeled Energy Star (or A-level in the European Union). They will consume less energy, which will contribute to lower electricity bills. Apart from that, they will raise your ecological awareness, which also matters these days.

Moreover, decorate your home office the same way you’d embellish your workspace in a company. For example, you can pack it with technical books essential for your work. In addition, a water machine and an espresso machine will both come in handy in your office.

Go out for sports and hangouts

Since your profession already gives you so much freedom that you can work from home, don’t spend all your time in the office. The essence of working from home is the chance to organize your life the way you want it.

Losing touch with your friends and isolating yourself won’t be good for your business. As a matter of fact, being alone in your home office can be depressing, due to social isolation, which often causes the feeling of loneliness.

Freelancers who don’t live alone can make up for their isolation by hanging out with their family members or roommates. Nevertheless, home workers should pursue other social contacts, as well.

So, if you notice that you miss meeting your friends and you start feeling homework blues, do your best to nip it in the bud. For instance, you could schedule a few social or sporting activities every week.

Also, it’s important to emphasize the benefits that doing sports will have on your body. You’ll be able to sleep well, which is essential for higher work productivity. In addition, if you need to stay up late at night, due to working with clients in different time zones, getting enough sleep is extremely important.

Jogging and cycling can help you a lot to reach balance in that area. What’s more, letting some steam that way will improve the condition of your mind and soul, which will contribute to your general well being.

When it comes to establishing contacts outside your home, attending educational courses to learn new business or any other skills is a great idea. You’ll learn something new while having some time only for yourself – a win-win situation.

Follow your daily schedule

There’s no work discipline without a detailed daily schedule. This should be your white paper, your Holy Scriptures and the ultimate agenda of your work.

The best habit you can develop to keep yourself disciplined is making a daily schedule for the following day. Using this tactic will bring two major benefits.

On the one hand, you can take all the tasks you haven’t managed to finish that day and reschedule them for the next day. On the other, you can make a meticulous plan for every single business task and personal errand you need to perform the following day.

By creating a detailed timetable for all those works, you’ll become a real-time master who seizes every day in the most efficient way.

Besides, home workers can also use in-advance scheduling to make some rough weekly plans, as well. That way, every single daily schedule can play the role of a milestone for your business project.

Luckily, today you only need an average mobile phone to make a perfect work schedule. You can simply download some cutting-edge Android or Apple apps and plan your work day to every single detail.

Remove the mess

The romanticized, big-screen version of a productive office often tries to convince us that the messy office is the one that boosts creativity. However, it might work for a small number of artistic professions.

Contrary to that, modern home workers should try to remove the mess from their desks and workspaces. If you’re exposed to too many stimuli from your work environment, you might not be able to focus on your work tasks. In line with that, your level of persistence will be much higher if you eliminate all the distractors from your surroundings. Undivided attention and commitment to work are two major prerequisites for successful performance. Mess simply doesn’t fit into that formula.

On the practical side, you can have an office-cleaning session once every two days. For instance, you could use one of your breaks for that matter. This short session will help you keep your office in order, as well as do some physical activity, which is also a significant benefit. What’s more, avoid leaving paper around the office, let alone any home items that you don’t need for work. Moreover, reduce printing as much as possible.

In addition to your own anti-mess campaign, you should think about hiring a professional office cleaner. They could come once a week and do some major cleaning tasks.

Furthermore, make sure that your air-conditioning system and other features pertaining to hygiene are regularly inspected and maintained. The bottom-line is that you should make your home office as cozy and fresh, so as to protect your health and improve your work performance.

Implement modern tech tools

When you start working as a home-based freelancer, you lose some benefits that being a part of a larger system brings.

Being a self-employed freelancer generates a large number of additional obligations. One of the most demanding things you have to do on your own now is taking care of your finances.

First of all, you’ll need to ensure that you get properly paid and determine reasonable rates. Nonetheless, those payments should be made on time. Because of that, it’s crucial you start using a reliable invoicing system such as Invoicebus and a payment solution with affordable commission rates.

When you’re able to send an invoice immediately and receive a payment as fast as possible, your cash flow will never be in danger.

Moreover, if you’re a successful freelancer, you’ll be getting new projects all the time. This is why you should choose from a variety of modern project management tools. In this case, using free tools is allowed and should be taken into consideration.

Not only that those solutions will improve work organization, but both you and your employees will be getting continuous feedback from one another. As a result, you’ll increase your work efficiency in the long term, which will make more room for new projects.

Finally, since self-employed freelancers usually work with limited budgets, it’s imperative to make savings wherever you can.

For that reason, using cloud-based software solutions instead of paying for in-house software licenses will keep a few extra cents in your pocket. You only need to find several reliable providers that offer such cloud services and inform them of your needs. As they hand in their offers, choose the one that meets your demands. Make sure that your contract gives you the freedom to increase or reduce the number of services you use. That way, you’ll avoid paying for software items you rarely need.

Meet legal obligations

A home worker has to decide how to register their business. Of course, you can try working without being registered, but it isn’t recommended.

If (or better to say when) the tax authorities catch you, you’ll get a harsh penalty that could bring your freelance business to an end.

When it comes to different types of businesses, home-working loners should choose from two most adequate options for their needs. The first one is a sole proprietorship, which is a one-man band, so to speak. It’s the best sort of business for freelancers and home workers working as consultants, accountants or translators. It’s especially suitable for those trying to start their own consulting business.

Everything you earn goes directly to you. However, any debts and liabilities of the business are the obligations of the owner, as well, so bear that in mind.

The second best type when it comes to registering your business is a limited liability company (LLC). In this case, the key advantage is the limited liability of its owners.

According to that, if your LLC has any debts, it’s the business and its features that are persecuted by the law. However, if one of the members leaves or dies, the entire business has to be dissolved and re-registered.

To conclude, the smartest thing to do here is to go as a sole proprietorship as long as you’re both the owner and the only worker of your business.

As it starts growing and you need to hire employees, you could transform it into an LLC. Last, but not the least, when doing any such changes, always contact the government administration in charge and a legal expert in this field.

It’s important to always keep your self-esteem and spirits high when you’re out there on your own, multitasking in the comfort of your personal business arena. You’ll reach peace of mind if you pay attention to every single detail of your professional and business life.

Since working alone will change you as a person and as a worker, the routines described in this piece should help you keep a healthy mind and accomplish your business goals.

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
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