Is “Business From the Home” the “New Normal” for 9 to 5?
More than ever, both the employed and the unemployed are seriously considering conducting business from the home. Many employees are asking permission to remain working from home permanently. https://www.forbes.com/work-from-home-jobs-from-remote/
So, what has changed? Why the sudden desire to keep working from home?
As we work with so many business owners and C-level executives in helping them to write their books, our most recent book interviews have revealed something interesting…
Business owners are surprised by the desire of their employees to hold business from the home.
“I thought my staff would be chomping at the bit to come back to the office,” mentioned one CEO client, baffled by the numerous requests to keep working from home. Many other clients mentioned similar sentiments.
Conducting business from the home has been the best-kept secret for a very long time. Much of the delight that people picture in their initial dream state of how they see their lives unfolding for the future is often only possible with a home-based business.
There are plenty of responsibilities with a home business, but many are less drastic than a bricks-and-mortar business. For one thing, there are less overhead costs just to conduct business.
And unless you’ve been in business before, you likely don’t know that the utility companies charge MUCH higher fees for the same exact services for businesses! That’s right. Your telephone, Internet … you name it … it’s all a lot more expensive when you have a business space.
Significant Savings Working from the Home
You are already paying to have your lights on at home, Internet service, phone and so forth, so conducting business from home cuts out significant business expenses.
Even for the mid-size companies and large corporations, having a percentage of their employees operating from the home significantly lowers their overhead costs. Many pay their employees for travel and so forth. But even simply being able to turn off a few lights, turn down the thermostat, etc. for larger working spaces can mean significant savings—and higher profits—for companies.
Also, if starting out, your startup investment for a home-based business is a lot lower, and there’s no commuting and other liabilities of the “normal” bricks-and-mortar business.
Without a doubt, employers are very worried about their home-based staff not being productive, and this is a valid concern. Smart owners and executives are requiring Productivity Course Training before they will even consider approving their employees’ requests to continue to work from home.
A great idea for employees is to include in their request to their employers proof that they have taken a reputable Work From Home Productivity Course.
That so few people have taken notice of how Apple, Microsoft and so many other mega-giant business successes ALL started from their garages is beyond me.
Hidden Opportunities Become Obvious
The perfect storm of a pandemic and increasing user-friendly technologies have given hundreds of millions of people the opportunity to consider a business from the home or at least stay-at-home employment.
Authors and entrepreneurs (one and the same) are a resilient type of human being. Something like a down economy or a worldwide pandemic may knock us off balance, but never do we cave.
And why not? To work from home offers so many different benefits. As I note below in the “Business From Home Ideas” section, the options mentioned for what to do as a from-home worker or business owner are just a few of what great ideas you could imagine for yourself. Consider them triggers for more great ideas.
One of the remarkable aspects of the pandemic has been that suddenly millions of people who had never worked from home before are now doing exactly that—some for over three months now! And according to pollsters, they LOVE it. Many are publicly stating that they don’t want to go back to commuting and punching the ole clock at the company offices. Even more remarkable: employers are, in large part, agreeing that this is a good thing. Here’s why:
- As I alluded to above, commuting stinks, and the American worker has disliked it for decades. A business from the home saves on fuel costs, automobile wear and tear and, most importantly, most attractively, TIME.
- Fewer employees in a traditional office means companies can lease or buy smaller offices, saving them money. For larger corporations with multiple locations, such savings can multiply by thousands.
- Contrary to the old thinking, working from home is more efficient than working at the traditional office. Study after study shows that a worker in their home office can be more productive with just a small amount of training specifically for the home. I’ll address the issues of productivity and efficiency from the worker/entrepreneur’s perspective later in this article.
- There are countless other benefits of a business from the home and of a work-from-home office for the employee/freelancer, for the employer/contractor, and for the author/entrepreneur.
BEING YOUR OWN BOSS
Being your own boss means different things to different people. Generally, the phrase is associated with attaining a certain level of freedom. Even the word “boss” sounds a bit antiquated, though it yet retains a clear connotation that the person using it values humility, order, and good work ethic.
On the other side of that coin, one might imagine the fearsome bosses of the American Industrial Revolution. For most workers in the factories of yesteryear, the dream of being released from under the iron fist of the “boss man” was fleeting—even foolish. Never mind becoming one’s own boss some day!
Those days are thankfully long past, and today anyone at all can dream of being their own boss, and know that, through smart work, diligence and discipline, they can make that dream come true.
Work From Home Tips
The dynamics and overall feel of working from home are usually quite different than working in a traditional office. It’s bound to be more casual, and while that can put you in a better state of mind for greater clarity and creativity, there are also some pitfalls to be wary of.
Let’s look at some work from home tips and tricks that can help ensure each day is enjoyable and productive:
1. Create a Work Area
You might notice a theme as we go through these: there are “best practices” meant to help keep you focused and highly productive. While working from home can be a great option, it does NOT mean “anything goes.” It’s not a free-for-all, and having a dedicated work space is one of the most important things you can do in order to make the most of your time at work.
The good news is that you can customize and design it to fit your work processes and aesthetics. Focus and fun are not mutually exclusive.
2. Dress (semi) Professionally
This is the part where it’s suggested that you don’t work in your pajamas, even though you’re not planning to see anyone that day. “Dressing the part” really works. That’s not to say you must work in a business suit all day if you run a carpentry business, but do wear whatever signals your brain that you’re serious about getting your work done, according to the type of work you do.
3. Customize (and take) Your Breaks
Here’s an area of work-from-home tips where you’ll probably have more discretion. Even as an employee, your employer will generally understand that there’s no need for rigid scheduling of breaks for people working from home. So do whatever works for you. Maybe that’s 30 minutes for lunch plus two 15-minute coffee breaks. Maybe you need an hour to pick up items for dinner that night. Breaks will usually be up to you, so make the most of that freedom.
The video above is an excerpt from our Work From Home Productivity course. To see the full video, go to: EntrepreneurSuccessTraining.com
BUSINESS FROM HOME IDEAS
Before listing the top online jobs and great small-business-from-home ideas, let’s notice that the top online businesses and jobs fall into one of three broad categories:
- Gig economy
- Passive income
You can find a company to work for (sending your work in remotely); you can sell your skills to online clients on a freelance basis; or you can create an online business where you sell products or services, sometimes even making money while you’re not actively running the business. That’s the “passive” part of passive income.
Job/work roles can fit into any or all of these categories. As a programmer, for example, you can:
- create apps to sell directly to users (passive income)
- provide code for clients that are working on apps (gig economy)
- work remotely for a software company as a full-time employee (employment)
Here are some ideas for working from home, just to give you a starting point for what you might find in your research online for good, work-from-home careers.
Our Work from Home Productivity course has some amazing recommendations for work-from-home ideas—for making good money. Here are a just a few:
This is the broad category of employment that includes everything from creative writing to authorship of books in your field of expertise. Through decades of experience, Writer Services has discovered the sweet spot in combining authorship and entrepreneurship.
Editing work can be abundant and well-paid. The need for quality content online engenders a healthy market for writers, which then creates demand for good editors to “clean up” articles and make the content fit better with branding, marketing initiatives, and the clients’ needs in general.
The proofreader is also an important role in presenting clean copy of the sort used on millions of web pages. Proficiency in grammar, spelling, a wide vocabulary, and exceptional attention to detail are prerequisites in providing the valuable product of typo and error-free, professional text.
Another member of the content/marketing/publishing team is the copywriter, who is a more specialized version of the writer. This professional usually wields a wide range of knowledge to create compelling text for web pages, marketing materials, and interdepartmental communications. They’re often part of a marketing department but can also work freelance with individual corporations and/or public relations firms. A good copywriter can earn good money, double as an editor or proofreader, and even move upward into a career as an author.
5. GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Are you an artsy type? Graphic design can be a great outlet for your creative energy, and it pays well too. Did I mention its potential as a small business from home? Advances in technological tools and file sharing make it possible to create and sell logos, splash-page designs, printables, wearables, and tons more—all from the comfort and convenience of your home.
6. DATA ANALYST
Talk about an exciting, ever-growing field to explore as a small-business-from-home idea. The term “data analysis” is an umbrella for various activities involving the use of tech in helping companies make decisions and operate on a more scientific basis. Some of the work data analysts do involves data mining, which helps businesses with predictive information. Another subcategory is business intelligence, which uses aggregation of business information to answer questions that arise in operations, marketing, sales, or any other aspect of a going concern.
7. ONLINE MARKETING PROVIDER
The keywords here are “online” or “Internet.” Online marketing service providers use the whole of the Internet to drive traffic, sales, and sales leads to brands and/or businesses and their products or services. As you might imagine, this position offers nearly endless opportunities to individuals and teams who bring a variety of skill sets and who have the flexibility to adapt quickly to changing technologies and trends.
8. DIGITAL MARKETER
The digital marketer or digital marketing manager works in the same fields of promotion expertise as the online marketing provider but usually has more responsibilities, often including supervision of marketers on the team. They are also generally involved in the development, implementation, and management of marketing campaigns.
9. SOFTWARE DEVELOPER
Software development is yet another field where a diversified skill set is desirable. Design, research, implementation, and management of software programs are the core capabilities of a software developer. They also work with other developers and business and systems analysts, and they test and evaluate new programs.
PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO AT HOME
The pandemic, besides its horrific toll on human lives, hasn’t meant instant golden opportunities across the board. Yes, the employment and entrepreneurial playing field is new and somewhat more level, but unemployment is very high. What to do if one is still partially or fully sheltering in place AND unemployed? Few jobs or business opportunities can be had from one day to the next. What are some productive things to do at home in the meantime?
1. Keep Learning!
Did you know there are literally thousand of free classes you can take online? If you decide to continue your education or professional development, it doesn’t have to involve formal courses. Chances are that any learning you do in your down time will be well worth while.
Time in between jobs can be a good time to revisit your goals and plans. Tidy up your calendar, and make sure all your appointments and events are logged. It’s rewarding to do so, not only because it will save you time later, but because it also gives you peace of mind now regarding what lies ahead.
It might sound obvious, but you might be surprised at how many people could benefit from practicing relaxation. Science in recent years has confirmed what Eastern practices have shown for centuries: mindfulness and relaxation benefit the mind, body and spirit. What type of relaxation routine would you enjoy? Learn about them, choose one, and most importantly, practice it daily.
You can get more tips from this course at EntrepreneurSuccessTraining.com
HOW TO STAY PRODUCTIVE AT HOME
I mentioned earlier that there are certain elements of your from-home work that can make the difference between failure and success. When looking at staying productive at home, these fall into three main categories:
Earlier, we went over things we can do to stay focused in your work from home: creating a dedicated work space, dressing appropriately for your work, and taking customized breaks can go a long way in keeping you on task. I would also add that being aware of potential distractions and having a strategy to avoid them is key. This is one of the secrets of the super successful entrepreneurs.
This category helps us remember another fact known by the wealthy and successful: you CAN do more in less time. It helps us remember to check our habits, procedures, and protocols. “Is there a faster way to do this that works as well or better?” This is a question we can ask ourselves several times a day.
This category combines focus and efficiency into a measurable statistic: how much work are you getting done each day? Of course, the quantification of your work must be customized to your field. Measuring your productivity is essential to success in your from-home job or business.
Whether you’re looking to join a company, work freelance, or start your own business, now is a wonderful time to create your success at home.