Working from home, or telecommuting, can be a joy. However, there are also several pitfalls that can induce a great amount of stress if they are not handled correctly. From helping your family understand your responsibilities to being self-motivated, there are a number of ways to cut stress at this exciting but challenging career choice.
Never Allow People to Minimalize Your Job
There may be some people who talk about your job as if it was your hobby or something that you do to pass the time while you’re at home.
While this can be frustrating and insulting, the best way to deal with it is to explain what telecommuting is and that it’s as valid as any job you might do in an office.
Always be proud of your work, but also remember that some might be jealous of your position, so don’t spend a lot of time defending your choices, either.
Separate Work from Housework
One of the most difficult jobs a female telecommuter faces is balancing work and family. Clients often want to talk to you far into the evening about new assignments and revisions.
In order to keep your job from eating up all your family time, explain to your clients that you work set hours, just as anyone in an office environment would, and that any problems or issues will be discussed the following business day.
Ask Your Kids for Help
If you have school-aged kids who come home from school in the middle of your workday, ask for their help by reminding them that you’re working and that you shouldn’t be disturbed.
Have older kids help the younger ones with getting snacks and starting homework until you’re finished with your work tasks. Set an after-school schedule for them so they know what they should be doing and at what time.
Handle One Task at a Time
You will be more productive and less stressed if you break down your day into smaller tasks that are easier to handle instead of viewing multiple assignments at once.
This can lead to feelings of being completely overwhelmed, causing you to lose confidence in yourself. Complete one task at a time to feel more accomplished throughout the day.
Limit Your Email Viewing
If you have an e-mail alert on your computer or phone, switch it off for a few hours while you work on the day’s most important tasks.
Viewing email every time something hits your inbox provides constant distraction, causing you to fall behind.
By staying on task and checking your inbox every hour instead of every minute, you will feel more focused.
Claim Your Space
Find a space in your home that you can call your own. Decorate it with items that make you feel happy and energetic, and don’t allow your kids to claim it with toys or clutter.
Working in your own space will help you to claim your identity as a professional, even though you work from home.
In order to claim your working hours as your own, avoid people who call just to chit-chat, who ask for favors, or want you to do something with them because you’re at home.
Be firm in explaining that while you are at home, you’re working and have deadlines to meet.
Let your voice mail pick up when you’re at your busiest—it’s the surest way to reduce stress and to help you meet your deadlines each and every day.