Maintaining Your Wellbeing When Working from Home

Many self-employed contractors work from home, it can be a very rewarding experience – after all, who wouldn’t love to work for themselves? However, it can also be a very lonely experience so it is important to look after your own wellbeing.

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What are the advantages of working from home?

  • You save on commuting time 

When you work from home you “buy yourself” a little extra personal time. With no rushing for the train or getting in stuck in a traffic jam you have the opportunity to start your day a little later and with the benefit of being calm.

  • You save money

No more travel costs or the need for expensive work clothes should mean a little extra in your pocket.

  • You can choose your hours

As long as you get the job done within the agreed timeframe set with your client, working from home means you can set your own hours.  You can schedule regular breaks that suit you. It may be possible to share more time with the family, taking breaks around meal times or the school day.

  • You may be happier and healthier

Research shows that working from home makes people happier although those that are the happiest are workers who split their time working both at home and in the office.

Whilst working from home may avoid the inevitable workplace drama’s that take place, you have to like your own company and be self-motivating to work from home 100% of the time.

And the disadvantages?

  • You may feel isolated and miss the collaboration

Working alone can be lonely. You may feel you are missing out on the creative collaboration gained when working directly with colleagues. There will only be you to motivate you to complete your tasks and you won’t have others to learn from and share experiences with.

  • You may lack self-discipline

Are you able to focus on a task and ignore everything else going on around you? Do you procrastinate and get tempted to watch the next Netflix series or just take five to do a chore? Some contractors find the structure of attending a workplace makes them more productive.

  • You may find it hard to separate home and work life

It can be tough to shut out work when your work life bleeds into your homelife. A separate office that you can walk away from may help, but if your house is constantly full of work papers its going to be hard to avoid the trap of never switching off. You could find that there are no set times for you and your family and that you struggle to make the separation.

  • You many find it harder to be professional. 

Many home workers report that it is very easy to slip into the habit of not getting dressed to work, not taking the time to fully focus on the work in hand as there are too many distractions at home.

If you work from home and think that you experience more of the downsides than the ups, the good news is that there a few different ways you can be mindful and look after your wellbeing whilst working from home.

First of all, make sure you engage in some contact with another person at some point during the day, whether that is face to face or over the phone. A walk outside whilst taking a break from work is perfect for this, take the time to catch up with a friend so you don’t feel lonely and get lost in your own thoughts.

Exercise is great for wellbeing. Establish a routine and separate your working hours from personal time making sure you keep up with those visits to the gym that get your blood pumping and you feeling energised for the day ahead, setting to work with a clearer mind.

It is also important to know exactly what you need to be doing so that you don’t fall behind or lose motivation. A plan or a to do list is perfect for this as you can follow it and keep on track. 

Try to create a positive atmosphere and have a dedicated workspace – let fresh air in as much as you possibly can, make your workspace is light and airy and somewhere that you want to work. Having a place, you actually don’t mind being in is great for motivation and your wellbeing. 

Working from home can also be extremely stressful at times, especially when close to a deadline. This is why it is important that you take regular breaks. 

Self-employed contractors who are clients of Orange Genie Accountancy are lucky enough to have access to Orange Genie Edge. As part of the rewards package you will find access to “Your Health” and “Your Fitness and Wellbeing”. Here you will find a wealth of resource from Mindfulness activities to fitness assessments and recipe ideas all designed to support you in your contracting career. 

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