4 Simple Tips for Working From Home

 

Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter. The editor, Tim Herrera, emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

This week I’ve invited Kenneth R. Rosen from the Smarter Living team to share some great tips about working from home, with a little help from readers. Last fall he wrote a guide to working from home, and below is even more advice for people who are either starting out or looking to stay motivated at home. What’s your advice for staying productive (or beating boredom)? Let Ken know on Twitter @kenneth_rosen or at kenneth.rosen@nytimes.com.

Take it away, Ken!

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After I published “How to Work From Home,” tons of readers wrote in wanting to know the steps to building a career around working from home, whether that meant finding jobs and gigs or balancing a family on top of a workload. Others felt that success “at working from home doesn’t require a magic checklist of dos and don’ts, but instead a focused desire to perform and succeed.”

Here are some tips for making it work for you.

Finding Remote Work

There are many companies and websites that connect freelancers with employers, but they can be sparse depending on your specific trade and industry. Upwork is a wonderful platform that I have used for small projects.

 

You set up a profile based on your area of expertise — it’s open to writers, programmers and developers, administrative support workers, translators, financial professionals, marketers and more — and then browse available jobs and postings. After placing bids, you can be awarded short- or long-term contracts. A nifty desktop app tracks and logs your daily hours and sends them directly to your employer.

Parental Control: At-Home Edition

Setting boundaries and outlining expectations with everyone in your household, from pets to spouses to children, is crucial. If you have a block of time during which you must work, make sure to communicate that you won’t be available at all.

“It depends on the age, but good habit training is imperative,” Richele Baburina, a freelance writer and author who home-schools her two young boys, wrote in response to our guide. “A schedule for everyone allows for great freedom.” Ms. Baburina said that when her children were little she gave them small work tasks, like labeling envelopes or stamping books, while she worked nearby, which helped make “them a valuable part of the team in keeping the house running.”

Stay Disciplined, but Not Too Disciplined

Be structured, but also fluid. Making sure you complete all that is expected of you each day takes discipline. But I have found that a huge benefit of my working from home is the small bouts of unassigned time in which creative thoughts that would otherwise be left dormant can flourish. Sleeping in late to delay a start time, or waking up early to see the sunrise (before taking an early-afternoon nap) can spur ideas that otherwise might never get the chance to grow.

Never Take It for Granted

Sometimes the greatest benefits of working from home come from the small respites and the ability to be flexible for loved ones between working, said the reader Greg Allen.

 

“Best part was time flexibility allowed coaching kids’ sports, assisting with homeschooling, aiding elderly parents and taking breaks to make firewood or tend to the veggie garden,” Mr. Allen wrote. “A great way to live, but it takes exceptional self-discipline.”

 

 

Source: nytimes.com