Tired of Office Work? Here are 5 Ways to Transition into a Work-From-Home Lifestyle

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Most of us begin our work day driving to an office. That office could be in a downtown highrise or a suburban office park, but regardless of where you go, you start and end your work day in brick-and-mortar buildings.

But times like these are changing not only how we work, but also where we work. Employees across all industries and around the world have embraced remote work for decades—and for good reason. But with this new influx to the virtual office, there can be an adjustment period as we transition to a work-from-home lifestyle.

Eager to work from home? Nervous about telecommuting? Either way, these tips can help you create a smooth transition to remote work success.

Set Up Your Home Office

While remote work often means the ability to work from anywhere (and you should take advantage of that when you can), anywhere typically means their home office. Whether you’re sitting on the couch or at the dining room table, setting up a home office that inspires and encourages you is the key to success.

Whether that’s a room with a door or a corner in the bedroom, a dedicated and thoughtfully designed workspace keeps you organized and productive, while also creating a physical boundary between work life and home life.

Generate Passive Income

Working from home may mean working more, but there are many clever ways to actually work less. Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to bring in passive income (i.e., making money in your sleep). You can earn a commission by reviewing and promoting a company’s products on your blog or website. 

What makes your website unique or niche? Are you a first-time parent with all the latest gadgets? Are you an avid cyclist who rides cross country? When you find a product you like, promote it to others in your network or through targeted marketing and earn a piece of the profit.

Embrace Virtual Meetings 

Right now, it’s not likely your home office won’t need to be set up for meeting clients and customers face to face, and that may not ever change. Virtual meetings and video conferencing have become the new norm across all industries. Whether you are joining or leading a meeting, you should avoid multitasking, explore the best technology, create and stick to agendas, and assign a meeting facilitator.

Video conferences work best when others can see your facial expressions and read your body language. Be sure you are prepared for meetings and present yourself as if you were in the conference room at the office. 

Get in a Workday Routine

For people accustomed to leaving home for work, creating a morning routine that flips the “work mode” switch in your brain can be tricky if you don’t leave the house. Everyone has a different opinion on how to create a work-from-home routine. Some people claim that wearing business casual and avoiding working in pajamas is the key. Others say that they boost productivity by working straight from bed before they even attempt to get up.

Don’t try to force yourself into one of these groups. The important thing to remember is your workday routine sets the tone for not just your remote day, but your remote life. Whether you go through all the same activities you would if you left home or sit in a hammock with your computer for half a day, just develop a routine that makes sense for you and stick to it.

Flex Your Freelancing Muscles

Working from home doesn’t always entail a flexible schedule. If that’s what you’re looking for, consider freelancing. Job boards like Upwork, FlexJobs and People Per Hour can connect you to employers looking to contract specialists for project-based jobs.

Are you an HR professional eager to help companies generate a work environment that appeals to millennials? A graphic designer with a flair for illustration? Working from home lets you control where you work; freelancing gives you the freedom to control how you work.

Transitioning to remote work has its challenges, but it is often touted as the most successful factor for work-life balance. Be patient with yourself and don’t feel like you have to commit to something that isn’t working. It may take some time, but many remote workers find that they are more productive, stronger leaders and courageous entrepreneurs.

How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance So You Don’t Burn Out

When you have bills to pay or a family to support, a strong work-life balance while working from home almost seems like a luxury. In truth, it’s a necessity. Whether you’re a high-powered executive or working for minimum wage, you need to maintain a balance between your personal and professional lives. If you don’t, then you could be at risk of burning out.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout happens when chronic stress depletes your emotional, physical, and mental reserves. When you burn out, you no longer have the energy to keep up with basic responsibilities, let alone the pressure of a career. Anyone can develop burnout if they’re not living a life of balance, where their personal needs are treated with the same importance as their work.

Four Tips for Preventing Burnout

The only way to prevent burnout is by taking proper care of yourself, and that means maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Balancing professional demands with your personal life isn’t easy to do, especially when you work from home, but following these tips will help.

Take your vacation days

Americans get the short end of the stick when it comes to paid time off. Even then, most US workers don’t take the vacation time they’re allotted. Unfortunately, the end result is workers who are less happy, less productive, and less healthy.

Given the unique circumstances we're in, many people aren't planning vacations or are canceling vacation plans. However, you can still "get away" in a sense by scheduling a long weekend for a staycation instead. You’ll get more stress-busting benefits if you kick back for three days rather than two. If you really want to feel like you’re getting away from it all, book a vacation rental in your area so there’s nothing to worry about but enjoying yourself.

Stop checking email at home

When work and personal life collide at home, it becomes harder to actually leave work when your shift ends. But checking your email after hours won’t help your paycheck or your productivity. You’ll show up to work more refreshed and get more enjoyment from your time off if you restrict work-related emails to the home office. If it’s hard to ignore push notifications, turn them off. Instead of checking email, try to do some stress-busting activities each night, including meditating, breathing with intention, smiling, and sleeping at least seven hours. 

Pick up a hobby

If you find yourself reflexively checking your work phone after hours, the problem could be that you’re bored. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance isn’t just about leaving work at the office — it also requires developing a fulfilling personal life. Whether you pick up that hobby you dropped years ago, call up old friends to connect, or start hitting the gym, make sure you have something to look forward to at the end of the workday.

Pay attention to company culture

The best thing anyone can do for their work-life balance is to work for a company that values it. If you get a job at a company where it’s the norm to work overtime and on weekends, you’ll face a lot of resistance when you push back. However, if you use the hiring process as an opportunity to interview companies too, you can find a work environment where maintaining an active life outside the office is seen as a positive. Fast Company explains how to identify the red flags of toxic company culture so you can avoid taking a job that’s the wrong fit.

Work is important, but it’s not the only thing. If you want a successful career and a healthy personal life, maintaining a work-life balance in your career is a must. Whether you need to make a few changes within your current work-from-home job or seek a new job with a better company culture, take the steps to establish a better work-life balance for yourself.

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Resource Roundup: The Ultimate Guide to Hardware and Software You'll Need When Working From Home

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Working from home for a bit longer than you originally thought? If you’ve been putting off setting up a home office, you are probably finding your productivity lagging. You may not feel comfortable in your home work space or not have everything you need to be your best work self. Here’s a list of nine different kinds of hardware and software you need for your home office.


Ergonomic Desk Chair: Working from home means you might be spending more time in your desk chair, so be sure to get one that helps you stay upright and comfortable.

Standing Desk: Boost your mood and energy, as well as reduce the tightness and tension in your upper body with a standing desk.

Natural Light Desk Lamp: No windows in your home office? This desk lamp can improve mood, enhance productivity, and increase focus and concentration.


Monitor: The right monitor can save precious desk space and help you see your work on the screen clearly.

Printer and Scanner: A good home office printer/scanner combo is compact and wireless.

Headphones: If you are taking more conference calls and video chats, you’ll need a reliable headset so you can focus on the conversation without any distractions.


Video Conferencing: Chances are working from home means conferencing more, and you’ll need software to get it done right. 

Time Management: Keep your projects organized and stay on top of your big-picture assignments and daily tasks with a web-based project management tool.

File Sharing: Edit, review and share files securely with coworkers via the cloud.

Working from home may be an adjustment, but once you get there, it can actually prove to be more productive than going into the office. Make sure your home office isn’t a roadblock, but instead sets you up for success.

5 Basics You Need to Know for Building an Office in Your Basement

Nearly every small business owner needs a workspace in their home. If you have a basement, you may already have the perfect spot to set up your own office. Basements tend to be quiet and underused, and a home office is a great way to take advantage of some extra home space. But before you start building your own home office, you’ll want to take care of these basic steps to ensure success:

Plan Your Renovations

Before you start knocking out walls, you should sit down and determine what your home office needs are and how much space you will need to work. Depending on your basement and your business needs, you may want to convert the entire space into just an office, or maybe you’d like to add some other rooms as well. If you are concerned at all with taking the home office tax deduction in the future, be careful with how you arrange your home workspace. Your home office needs to be clearly defined to pull off this tax break. 

Find Some Funding Options 

As you plan your home office, you may begin noticing costs adding up. You could use your savings to cover the costs of your home office build, but it may also surprise you to know that you can use a small business loan to cover the expenses of your new workspace, too. There are many options available, including short-term loans, where you are given the loan pretty quickly but must pay it back in a short amount of time. The maximum amount of short-term loans is about $500,000, and they have good interest rates.

Hire the Right Contractors 

Because basements can house water heaters, wiring, structural beams and pipes, a major renovation is best left up to the pros. There are also a few other basement basics to consider. You may need to meet local codes, or electrical work may be needed. A contractor will be able to complete your project so that it is up to local code and doesn’t create hazards for your family. Getting a contractor who has experience overhauling basements is also the best way to make sure your home office and equipment are protected from excess moisture and other potential issues that can arise from DIY basement renovations

Buy Quality Furnishings 

When you are working from home, it’s essential to have a quality, comfortable space to work. If you need to sit for extended periods of time, look for an office chair with ergonomic support for your back. You should also select a desk that encourages proper alignment while typing, and preferably one that has enough storage to hold any paper or accessories you need for your small business. Lighting is another essential element of a home office. The right light can increase your productivity and help you stay focused. Pick up a few lamps so you can adjust your lighting needs throughout the workday. 

Update Office Technology 

Another way a small business loan will come in handy is helping you purchase the technology your small business needs. Having an efficient laptop and smartphone is pretty much essential for any business these days. Smartphones can be especially helpful, since you can store your calendar, contacts and tasks all in one place. You can even download productivity apps to keep you focused on your daily business goals. If you are selling to customers, you may also need to pick up a powerhouse printer to churn out shipping labels and other paperwork. Finally, do not forget to factor in high-speed internet in your basement.

If you have some extra room in your basement, you could have the perfect spot to meet your home workspace needs. Building an office or work area in your basement is a great use of this extra space, and can even add some value to your home. Just make sure you follow some home office and building basics to ensure that your renovations don’t end up causing you more stress.

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In a Financial Pinch? Here Are 8 Ways to Make Extra Cash From Home

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We all could benefit from a little extra pocket cash every once in a while. Whether you need to pay off credit cards, fix your car, or beef up your savings, a thicker cash flow can really help when you're facing a financial crunch.

Looking to step into the gig economy? Here are eight ways you can earn some cash while working from home.

Affiliate Marketing: Earn a commission by promoting products and services from other companies. The beauty of affiliate marketing is that over time, it can become passive income. That means you can earn money without having to do too much heavy lifting—or any lifting at all, really. When you start out, be sure to track where your sales are coming from, test the user journey of each product you plan to promote, and view yourself as helping consumers as opposed to selling to them. 

Transcription: Listen to audio files and type out what you hear—that’s transcription in a nutshell. Most transcription work falls into three categories: medical, legal and everything else. Professional transcriptionists typically use transcription software and a foot pedal to control audio playback.

Article Writing: The Internet isn’t going to write itself— that’s where freelancers and contractors come in. Check out job boards like FlexJobs.com and Remote.co to find postings for contracts and projects that you can contribute to. LinkedIn is another great place to find opportunities to earn extra cash or even advance your career.

Data Entry: Many companies hire remote workers and contractors to take on data entry projects. For many of these companies, if you can type at least 50 words a minute, you stand a good chance of snagging some work. Projects like coding, transcription or database entry are pretty common data entry projects. It’s also common (though less so now, thankfully) to come across a data entry scam here and there. Be sure you know you are signing on with someone credible.

Customer Service: Customer support has taken on a whole new meaning in the new decade. You can provide support on the phone, via email, through an online chat or even in text. This diversity is what allows it to be such a perfect match for remote work. Call center agents who work from home often enjoy flexible schedules and less distracting work environments.

Administrative Support: Clerical work, scheduling, filing important documents and taking notes—there is not a lot that administrative assistants don’t do. Even then, many companies are shifting these positions to remote and contract, especially those who do not need full-time administrative support.

Document Scanning: A simple way to earn more money is by capturing printed text and images in a PDF document, otherwise known as document scanning. A job that epitomizes “wash, rinse, repeat,” document scanning is an easy at-home job that you can do when you are looking to boost your income. 

Social Media Evaluator: Many companies simply cannot spend the right amount of time monitoring their online presence and brand reputation. A social media evaluator is someone who examines social media accounts and either responds to followers or watches for unsatisfactory associations with your brand. It’s likely you will do a bit of both. 

When you start bringing in some extra income, you’ll feel your financial stressors start to melt away. Plus, when you explore one of these above at-home job ideas, you'll be able to utilize flexibility and convenience while working in a relaxed environment.

Best Work-From-Home Businesses for Women in 2020

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Have you ever wanted to work from home? As a woman, the answer to that question is probably a resounding yes. Many of us struggle with balancing all it means to be a wife and mother with pursuing self-fulfillment through our careers. Running your own at-home business can help you do just that. Here’s what’s hot, how to get started, and resources for teaching yourself all there is to know about the pros and cons of remote work and entrepreneurship.

Getting Started

According to the Small Business Administration, there are 10 steps that new business owners have to take. These include doing your research, determining a business structure, and applying for licenses and permits, where applicable. Since you will be working from home, you also have to stage an area to conduct business. Ideally, this is a private home office, which can either be in a spare bedroom, garage, or quiet corner of your main living area.

What to Do

Your options for what to do as a work-from-home-entrepreneur are more or less unlimited. However, a few areas to consider include:

  • Software development. Because it is technical in nature, software development, which might also be called computer programming, is a job you can do from virtually anywhere. Typically, you’ll be expected to have a bachelor's degree, but all fields need strong programmers as part of their support system.
  • Writing. If you have a strong sense of grammar and the ability to convey a message, consider selling your wordsmithing skills as a freelance writer. You don’t have to limit yourself to one company, and you can do anything from penning website copy to writing articles for magazines and newspapers, all from the comfort of home.
  • Affiliate marketing. Marketing influencer Neil Patel describes affiliate marketing as a passive income that relies on revenue sharing. Essentially, you build your own web presence and market someone else’s products or services. When one of your followers makes a purchase on your recommendation, you earn a commission.
  • Insurance sales. Most insurance agents are not entrepreneurs, per se, but are independent contractors. You might be required to have a license and, after a brief training period, may be expected to generate your own leads. The biggest benefit here is that you potentially have an unlimited income and access to referrals once you are established.

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Online Job Training

Since you want to work from home, it only makes sense that you want to learn from home as well. If you’re looking to brush up on your skills, look no further than the internet—specifically, sites like Udemy and Lynda (now LinkedIn Learning). These and many other resources can help you gain a greater understanding of business, marketing, design, web development, and everything in between. If your budget is tight, you may also want to check out CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the US Department of Labor.

Looking for Opportunities

As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to make your own opportunities. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites out there that can take some of the work out of your search. CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, and Indeed are all popular, but don’t count out lesser-known services such as UpWork and Fiverr, both of which are geared toward freelancers and allow you to pick and choose which projects you want to take and when. And if you haven’t already, make a point to connect with colleagues and other business contacts.

Working from home is an ideal situation for women. Not only does it cut down on your commute, it also allows you to be where you need to on your own terms. But it takes work. From figuring out what you want to do to jumping headfirst into the hustle and making your own opportunities, self-employment is a full-time job in itself. But you can do it, and the information above can get you started.

How to Build a Remote Team of Workers for Your Business

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Working remotely from home used to be uncommon in the business world. In recent years, however, it has been increasingly becoming the new norm. Thanks, in part, to Stanford data, companies are boosting productivity by hiring remote employees and freelancers. Meanwhile, remote workers enjoy more intangible job perks, including the flexibility to work from a coffee shop, the beach, or even the couch. 

Harvard notes that recent polls show nearly half of Americans have spent time working from home. The rise of the remote working style has also made it possible for workers to become digital nomads. According to Hubspot, a company that’s embracing remote work, digital nomads “are remote workers who usually travel to different locations.” That might mean backpacking throughout the world or traveling cross-country in a campervan. So it’s safe to say that there are people working remotely anywhere, anytime. 

If you’re ready to grow a remote team, here’s how to build a remote working environment that’s flexible and beneficial to your company and your employees.


As a business, your first step is determining the remote structure you need. For instance, do you envision eventually having a 100% remote company? Although this option requires more planning, communication, and remote management practices, it can save your company money on overhead costs like office space.

Meanwhile, businesses like Microsoft and Slack provide a semi-remote environment. This might mean remote workers come into the office a few days per week. Alternatively, semi-remote setups might mean some employees work onsite full-time while others work from home full- or part-time. If you’re looking for more flexibility and customization, you can create the semi-remote working style that best suits your specific business needs. 


Once you’ve determined your remote business structure, the next step is hiring the right people. Entrepreneur.com recommends hiring disciplined, self-motivated people who’ve previously telecommuted. Many companies choose to hire freelancers rather than full-time employees for their remote teams. 

So if you’re looking to hire a web designer to overhaul your business’s website, for example, it’s essential to make sure you’re using the right job boards. You can use a freelance job board to find web designer candidates who understand how to design a visually appealing website. Job boards enable you to connect to workers who are reviewed, reliable and qualified for the task at hand. 


Communication is key to any business, and that’s especially true when you’re building a remote team. When you can’t always meet face to face, it’s essential to keep all team members in the loop about changes or other crucial information. 

If you’re conducting a meeting, make sure that call notes will be made available to your team. Transcribed notes quickly update everyone on the meeting and on project statuses. 

Depending upon the length and frequency of your meetings, it might be cost-effective to outsource to an automated transcription service for your business. Automated services can rapidly convert speech into text, so you’ll receive call notes faster than someone could type them by hand.  

Making the Switch

When it comes to building your remote team, remember that you may not have to hire an entirely new team from scratch. Instead, if you currently have trustworthy employees who are hard workers, why not offer them the option of working offsite? Nearly 70 percent of workers crave flexibility, so this is your chance to delight your employees and even boost retention.

Remote teams aren’t just a trend; the data shows that the future of the workplace will most likely involve remote working environments. These telecommuting conditions are possible thanks, in large part, to modern technologies. As more companies hire remote freelancers and employees, workers are expecting flexible work environments that offer the freedoms of working from home. To avoid getting left behind, your business can start by exploring strategies and gradually shift toward a structure that supports remote work.