By Kim Hastings
Working at home. It sounds great. Set your own hours. Commute 50 feet with a cup of coffee in your hand. No honking horns. No intrusive co-workers or frequent trips to the gas station. Who would not want this lifestyle?
In this world, millions upon millions have chosen this path and more are choosing it every day. Modern technology has made an on-site workplace unnecessary.
So, if technology has made work more convenient, why does not it always work out?
Some employees are not so honest. The U.S. Patent Office found that many of their at-home workers routinely lied about their work hours.
If we take a deeper look at the workplace, there are three types of employees.
The first type are the loyal employees. They put in a hard day’s work. They do it for the success of the business and show their loyalty in many ways to the company that signs their check.
The second type are the competitive employees. These folks work extra hard because it is a publicity stunt to be recognized by their superiors. Their obsession to look better than their co-workers is a powerful motivator.
The third type are the minimalists. These employees only work hard when necessary. We have known people who push the limits of the lunch and work breaks. They often slack off if the boss is not on site.
The differences between the three employees have nothing to do with age, experience, or race. The difference is one thing. Discipline.
Working at home takes a level of discipline beyond that of the workplace employee. There is no arena to show off. There is no one to monitor the length of your breaks.
No one is really watching. It is a blessing and a curse.
Can discipline be learned? Yes! It takes the willingness to follow some rules. After a period of time, the rules will not be rules anymore. They will become your habits. So, here are the rules!
• Be Consistent With Your Work Hours
Get up at the same time every work day and proceed with your morning routine (i.e. cup of coffee, shower, etc). What time should you get up? It is totally up to you, but you need to commit to that time every day.
• Get Dressed
Dress for work, but be comfortable. Dressing for work will condition you to be productive.
• Take Breaks
The mind needs a rest every two hours. The body needs food within 4 to 5 hours after you start work. Get away from your desk for breaks. This away time will relax your mind and make you feel better about continuing with work.
• Be Intentional About the End of the Day
It is inevitable that some days will be longer than others. However, when the day is over, let it be over.
Let a blank computer screen be your reward for a productive workday. Create a personal routine to acknowledge the end of your work day.
The Final Word
I am not going to ask you about which type of employees resembles you. That is between you and your conscience. Although, transitioning from a workplace to a home office can be easier for any type of employee.
It just starts with having discipline. If you are interested in learning more about mastering the art of discipline and working from home, you should buy Kallen's book, Reaching The Finish Line.