5 Signs You’ve Got What it Takes to Work from Home
Working from home in your PJ’s might sound like the ultimate dream, but do you honestly have what it takes to make it work?
More and more of us are finding opportunities to work from home. Whether it’s your employer offering you a remote position or you’ve made that big decision to find a way to start a side hustle from home.
Whatever the reason, not everyone is cut out for it, and that’s totally ok.
Regardless of the long list of perks, it’s just a great idea to know some of the personality traits that are best suited to make a real go of it.
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I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows once you make the decision to work full time from your home office.
Don’t get me wrong…
I was completely stoked 10 years ago when I made the decision to never report to a boss again! In fact, it was my ultimate dream.
I just wasn’t really prepared for all the things I’d actually miss about my corner office with that Fortune 500 company.
When I got laid off all I could think about was everything I hated about the place, the politics, the shitty bosses, and my annoying coworkers.
Fast forward to today, and I can actually say that I made the right choice. Jumping off that 9 to 5 hamster wheel was the best thing I ever did.
I also have to admit, however, that there are still things I miss about working in an office with other people. But working from home can be fantastic if you’ve got a strong desire to do it.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that desire alone isn’t enough.
Obviously you can develop new skill sets, but in my experience, you’ll need to recognize most of these five traits in yourself to be certain that you’ve got what it takes to make a go of it from home.
Working full time from home is one thing, being happy, productive and content with it, is quite another.
So let me paint the picture for you first; this will all make more sense if you can relate back to this scenario.
It’s day one of your dream job… at home. Yeeha!
We’ll assume your office is all set up and it’s the first day your alarm clock didn’t jolt you out of a beautiful peaceful sleep on a workday.
The alarm was set for a sensible and respectable time of 8 am instead of 5 am like you’ve HAD to do for the past 15 years.
That just makes logical sense — after all the whole point of this new adventure is to enjoy the perks that come with it.
It doesn’t matter anyway because you’re so excited about your first day, you were already awake and supercharged to get started!
Your motivation is at an all-time high.
It’s even more exciting as you brush your teeth and remember that you don’t have to put on your work clothes and get out of the house quickly to beat that crazy traffic.
No more uncomfortable clothing or road rage for you!
Ahhh…this is the life!
With that big sigh of relief, you pad out to the kitchen and get your very own pot of coffee started.
As that lovely fresh aroma fills the air you wonder what your coworkers are doing and think about all the stupid meetings they have to attend — suckers!
Ha — Ha, no more of those boring, ridiculous meetings to suffer through.
You marvel at the silence in the house and all your peace and quiet.
Might as well put some of your favorite tunes on, since you have the house all to yourself.
The day flies by.
Breakfast was leisurely because you took the time to enjoy all the sections of the newspaper you usually don’t have time to read.
Then a little Facebook time, to be sure you’re caught up on current events and just because you can.
Lunch turns out to be amazing too!
It was the first time in a long time you didn’t have to slam a sandwich down your throat while your boss ranted on about what to discuss at the next stupid meeting.
You shuffle papers around on your desk, hunt around in the junk drawer for another charging cable for your cell phone and write a list of all the things you need to do first.
Once that’s done you decide to get that Amazon return (that was sitting on the kitchen table) together and get it ready for the mail tomorrow.
That will make less work for your spouse when they come home from work. You look forward to the bonus points you’ll get for that later.
As you finish taping up the box you hear a “ding” and see a Facebook Notification slide across your screen.
It’s a buddy from work and he’s asking sarcastically how your first day at home is going?
A great opportunity to let him know how perfect it is and that he should do it too! You even brag a little about still being in your Pj’s.
You’re laughing and having a great chat session.
You realize how happy and relaxed you are — even on your first day!
Sitting back in your super comfy chair, you look around your office in total awe of how incredibly wonderful it to be living your dream.
The next thing you know it’s after 4 pm.
You make excuses to yourself as to why you didn’t really get any work done.
Family members are filtering through the door and wondering if dinner might be early tonight because you’ve been home all day.
You jump up, eager to greet them and gush about your exciting new routine.
You’re all smiles until they point out the dirty dishes in the sink, and the coffee pot that’s still half full.
Then come the inevitable comments about still being in your PJ’s!
Then the ultimate question;
“What’s for dinner?”
Dinner…why is that your responsibility now?
Technically you’ve been at work all day too!
Eventually, they’ll wonder why the laundry isn’t done…(just say’in)
That, my friend, is exactly how fast a day can pass at home and make you wonder if you’re cut out for it after all.
And that was just day one!
It’s a slippery slope.
Get the picture?
Eventually, I figured out how to make it all work.
But in the process realized that to make it long term you’ll need a healthy dose of these five traits;
Self Motivation and Determination
It gets harder as time passes to make yourself get out of bed.
Especially if you’ve had a bad night. Rolling over and hitting the snooze button is easy, justified, and there is no one to report to or get written up by.
As the newness of your situation becomes normal, and the sheer excitement fades, it's easy to stop setting the alarm clock altogether.
After all, it’s impossible to be late for work and there will be zero consequences from your non-existent boss.
You will have to rely on your self-motivation and set yourself a reasonable schedule. You need to be determined to make it work and be productive.
Then you have to hold yourself accountable because no one else will.
All much easier said than done.
This all ties in with your self-discipline as well.
Managing your time becomes really important when there is no one else (like your crumby boss) to do it for you anymore.
You’ve got to be able to set your own timelines and keep your own deadlines.
Time will fly by when you’re enjoying your day— that’s a good thing! It means you’re on the right track when time just slips away from you.
Gone are the days when you stare at the clock every 15 minutes hoping your workday will finally come to an end.
Being uber disciplined, and laying out a schedule for the day, the week, and even the month become imperative.
And remember you’ll need time in your day to go for a walk, or workout in the gym. You’ll still have errands (the ones you did on your lunch hour or on your way home from work).
Resisting temptations throughout your day and avoiding these pitfalls takes self-discipline for sure.
That leads to number three, staying super focused.
Again, because you’re home all day, there are a million ways to get distracted.
Not just online, but something as simple as enjoying your morning coffee on the porch, can lead to an hour-long conversation with your favorite neighbor.
Dirty dishes, loads of laundry and crumbs on the floor all seem to loom over you when you have to look at them all day. Sometimes you just can’t seem to focus on the task you have laid out for yourself — so it’s easier to go vacuum.
At least you can see immediate results 🙂
The household chores can’t all become yours either because the family figures you have more time on your hands than they do now.
So you’ve got to be crazy focused if you plan to meet those deadlines you were so motivated and disciplined to set up in the first place.
Mad Organizational Skills
I’d say this holds all the others together.
Getting yourself organized and laying out a plan will be the glue that holds it all together for you.
If you’re all over the place and your thoughts are scattered it’s a lot easier for your day to fall apart.
Good organizational skills will go a long way towards laying out a plan for the day, the week and even the month.
Keeping your office, your schedule and your day to day plans organized will ensure that you’re productive, and therefore successful.
You’ve Never Really Needed a Boss
If you can honestly say that you’ve never really needed a boss to be productive and can follow through on a project to its completion without direction, then I’d say you’re a great fit to work from home.
I was that person who was always a step ahead of my boss and could predict what needed to be done next. Never waiting to be told to do something if I could already see what was necessary.
I ran my department like it was my own business and I took pride in my work.
If that’s you and you don’t need someone to tell you what needs to be done next. Then you have an entrepreneurial spirit and will thrive in your own self made environment.
It means you have the ability to see the big picture and make decisions based on your own goals.
You’re self-driven, see things through to completion and you thrive on a job well done.
And yes, it means you have what it takes to be successful, and actually enjoy working from home. If you have the opportunity I would highly recommend that you give it a try.
The reduction in stress alone makes it all worthwhile.
You can even save money on gas, parking, eating out and business clothing.
Pj’s are way cheaper than business attire 🙂
You may also find that your creative side will flourish. I always found employers held people back from becoming the best version of themselves.
If you didn’t fit in their box, they had no use for you.
If you had great ideas and spoke your mind, they found a way to move you to a different department, and make room for someone more willing to conform.
God forbid you made your boss look bad, and they perceived you as a threat. That only ensures you’ll never get promoted.
Working from home will allow your creative juices to flow again and open doors to a new world you never thought possible.
May you find inspiration in my words to give it a whirl!
Oh, and it’s totally cool to stay in your jammies all day…you’ll be more productive if you’re comfortable!
I hope you found value in this, I had fun putting it together for you. You might like this one too.
Paying it forward with Gratitude - Liz