Tips on working from home

Tips on working from home

Working from home is one of the ways your business can get started. As a startup you may not need or want to incur the cost of a fully-fledged office. This of course depends on the type of business you ran.  Some require a physical space from the word go but in others you will find that, that is not the best way to use your financial resources. As you start your business, you need to direct what you have towards getting clients or developing your products or brand. There are people who even get the office only to realise later that they did not need an office. I remember in my first business I realized that all I required was a phone, internet connection and a laptop to do pretty much the same thing that is done in an office.

You may also have a business that is a bit more mature and you do have an office and even a team. You may be employed working in an office but there are those days you just want to work from home. This could be because there is a particular task you want to complete without being distracted. For example, you may need to work on a proposal and get it out of the way.  Or you may need to be creative and come up with a concept or design.  Having an office is great but for some people it is not where they find optimal levels of focus because of the hustle and bustle. There are also those people whose businesses/jobs may never require an actual office.  I know several consultants who either work directly at client sites or at home. Now we all know that as much as it sounds good in principle, it takes effort to make “working at home” work. We don’t associate home with work the way we do an office type setting.

Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure you get the most from the experience.(Click to Tweet this thought)

#Tip1 Know what you plan to do that day that you are working from home.(Click to Tweet this thought) If you wake up and decide, you are working from home but with no specific agenda, trust me that house can show you enough ways to use up that time.  Suddenly you will remember that closets need to be cleaned out, cars need to go to the mechanic or you will discover the joys of day time TV. Be clear about the task(s) you need to complete that day.  Establish the time that you will start working.  The same way you generally report into work at a specific time is the same way you determine what time you will be seated and will have started working.  The benefit of working from home is that you don’t have traffic to contend with. While everyone else is in on the road you can get a lot done. Avoid distractions as much as possible.  There are days I have tried to work from home only to spend most of the day on the phone dealing with the same issues I would be dealing with if I was in the office.  When this happens the entire benefit is taken away. I might as well have been in the office.  You can put the phone away and check it periodically so you can get your work done. You will find that the world does not fall apart simply because you did not immediately respond to every call, message, WhatsApp, tweet etc. Make sure that you inform anybody who may be at home that you are not to be interrupted. You are also not at home to deal with home issues that day.

#Tip2 Work in a specific place. (Click to Tweet this thought) In an office, you generally have a specific place to work.  Your desk is in a particular spot.  Decide what that spot is for you. Wherever it is, it becomes your mini office for that moment. This is not to say that once in while you may not move around. It could be a nice day and you want to have a moment in the sun as you work. This is an area where you will generally spend most of your time as you work at home. It could be a spare room, your dining table, a spot in your living room that fits a desk. It’s up to you. It helps to have it in a place where there is silence and not a lot of clutter around so that you can think and concentrate. Dress for success. It is tempting to stay in pyjamas because you are at home.  Or dress extremely casually as you would on a weekend when all you intend to do is relax, watch a movie, play with the kids etc. Do not do this.  Dress in a way that signals to your mind that you are working.  Whilst it may not be a neck and tie suit, it is not pyjamas either. There’s a certain casualness that signals to us that it is time to lie down on the couch and watch TV. We all know those clothes. The ones we change into after work. By all means be comfortable and take advantage of the fact that you are at home but strike the right balance in what you choose to wear.

If you have never worked from home be ready for a tug of war in yourself.  (Click to Tweet this thought) Your mind may wander and try to tempt you with other activities. Like most things in life practice makes perfect. When it does work, it is very rewarding.  You get to really focus in ways that you cannot when other people are around you.  I have also found that because of this you spend a fraction of the time on the same tasks as you would in an office setting. Use of time is directly related to wealth creation. You may not see it now but the more you get out of your hour, the smarter you are with it, it is like making deposits into a bank account that you will access in the long run. Make ‘working from home’ work for you.

Waceke, runs a program on Entrepreneurship. To sign up, email her at| Facebook/centonomy or go to

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  • Cherrelle Burroughs This helped me get ideas of working from home. You don’t know what you are capable of or how much more money your can make in 8 hours if we get stuck in a 9-5 job. All of us are worth more than a paycheck. Good luck on your journey. Hope the link helps

  • Grim Gobbo

    I’ve been working from home for around 4 years and I’ve experienced some of the downsides of this especially when you’ve got to run some “domestic” errands that are just mandatory. There’s also the issue of immersing yourself in your work so much that you neglect other domestic duties. I think it all comes down to proper planning as you’ve stated and periodic breaks as well. Thank’s for the piece.