We have all heard the term, “Love where you work,” but what often gets lost in the meaning is it’s not just about loving what you do, it’s loving where you do it.
Years ago companies cut back on travel after technology allowed them to reduce travel costs by having employees do meetings remotely. That same theory has now expanded into another cost they could reduce, office space.
Companies are shifting gears and incorporating freelancers to reduce costs as well as Workers Comp injuries and Sexual Harassment claims. Currently, over 35 percent of the U.S. workforce are freelancers and that number is projected to reach 50 percent by 2020.
The irony of this is for years entrepreneurs weren’t seen as equals in the workforce if they worked from home when, in fact, we were all just ahead of the curve. I have always attributed moving to a home office as one of the secrets to my own success. Not only did I have complete control of my creative surroundings, I could stay late or come in early without traffic times affecting those decisions. And, most importantly, I added over $15,000 a year to my bottom line. In California, if you designate 30 percent of your home as office space you can write off $525 a month. So not only did I eliminate a $750 a month office rent, I gained another $525 in tax exemptions.
Now, this is not all sunshine and tax breaks. Working from home is not easy. Boundaries and self-discipline are crucial to your success. In the beginning, people will call you with “Hey, I was wondering, since you are home can you…”. Even you will be tempted to throw in a load of laundry because you’re there. It is vital that you set a start time just like if you were showing up somewhere and dress for success. You can be comfortable, but always assume you are going to have to jump on a Skype in 5 minutes.
The best part is designing your workspace. Set up your office in a vibe that makes you feel inspired.
When I first started to work from home I took over a room in our new house that used to be a powder blue nursery. That did not motivate me to close deals; it motivated me to want to close my eyes and take a nap.
Vibe and functionality matter. If you are staring at something you hate or if you have to run to FedEx OfficeⓇ twice a day, neither are going to help your workflow. If you use a landline phone, make sure it is solely dedicated to your business and that no one in your house answers it. There is nothing worse than finally getting that callback from a prospective new client and your 6-year-old niece answers the phone and asks if he saw Frozen. True story.
The bottom line is working remotely can make you fall in love with being at work again. Keep it professional, creative, and comfortable and I firmly believe you will see a shift in your passion for what you do and your success will blossom.