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Coming Home: Is a Home Office for You?

written by: •edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/28/2011

This article discusses the decision to work at home or telecommute and relevant factors.

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    Why Work at Home?

    Many factors go into the decision to work at home. Perhaps you would like more time with your children. Maybe the commute is killing your budget. Perhaps you would like to freelance rather than work at a publishing company. Whatever the reasons for wanting to work at home, there are many other factors to consider before taking the home office plunge.

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    1. Are You Self-Motivated?

    The novelty of working at your home office will keep you motivated in the beginning. How nice it is to have a cup of coffee and begin your day's tasks in your pajammas! But soon, this novelty will wear off, and will you still be motivated? If you are someone who needs external motivators in order to get things done, you may want to reconsider working at home. I guarantee if you are not a self-starter, soon coming to your desk will become a game - in procrastination.

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    2. Can you Manage Your Time Efficiently?

    Many times we believe we will have more time when we work at home. However, it seems like we have less time. That laundry in the corner piling up may be calling to you while you are trying to organize your notes for an interview. In order to bring home work in a home office situation, you must learn to manage your time and use task lists to ensure that everything gets done.

    When no one is looking over your shoulder it is all-too easy to decide "I want to watch that movie" or "I want to see what's going on with Facebook." Fortunately there are some solutions. Brian Nelson suggests a computer program that will block you from visiting tempting websites during work hours in his article, "Time Management Tips - Make Your Computer the Bad Guy.

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    3. Do you Have a Support Network?

    Times will get tough. If people are not supportive of your decision to work at home it will be very difficult. Even having one friend who completely supports your decision will be very helpful on those days - and there will be those days - where you want to throw in the towel and go back to the office. Having a cheerleader can be a great asset.

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    4. Can you Mind your Budget

    It seems overkill to state this final point in a time of economic recession, but it bears saying again: Watch what you spend, especially if you are working from home as a freelancer or consultant. If you are telecommuting to an office, you probably have a steady paycheck, but those of us who freelance full time need to remember to save money for times when there aren't clients, and to avoid consumer debt like the plague.

    If you are a shopaholic, in deep debt, or are barely making ends meet at the moment, chances are that working at home could spell disaster. For great tips on becoming budget conscious, visit the Money and Personal Finance Channel here at Bright Hub.