5 Things You Should Do Every Day If You Work From Home

5 Things You Should Do Every Day If You Work From Home

The increasing acceptance of today’s bring-your-own-device landscape and the ability to do more business remotely because of better technology means more people than ever are working from home at least part of the time.

About one-fourth of the American workforce teleworks at least part of the time, and the regular work-at-home population among the non-self-employed has grown by 103 percent since 2005. Fast Company magazine reports 25 percent of business leaders say more than three-quarters of their workforce will not work in a traditional office by 2020.



    Working from home doesn’t just offer convenience in eliminated commutes and flexible scheduling. It can also help you be more productive than ever, since you have more opportunity to integrate healthy lifestyle habits into your schedule. Whether you work from home part of the time or full-time, here are five things to do every day you work from home to have a more successful career.

    1. Foster a Business Environment

    Set yourself up for success at home by creating a work environment that’s organized and that will allow you to minimize distractions.

    Greg Peters, Senior Director of Business Development of Cisco Authorized Distributor KBZ, admits when he first began working from home, it was easy to get distracted by the freedom of working from home and how it can affect discipline. Peters recommends creating and adhering to a schedule to stay focused, designating a space for work with easy access to tools you need, and limiting external distractions, such as television.


    By having close proximity to temptations that can decrease productivity or cause you to miss deadlines, working from home can actually become a frustrating experience as you scramble to accomplish your tasks. Cutting down on interruptions also requires communicating with family members or roommates about your schedule and when you need time to concentrate on work.

    2. Eat a Nutritious Lunch

    If you want to maintain the willpower to produce great work throughout the workday, eating a nutritious lunch is essential. In the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, authors Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney present research that ties willpower directly to glucose and expounds on the importance of not depriving yourself of regular healthy food intake.

    Harvard Business Review emphasizes the importance of eating well-balanced meals, since starchy or fatty foods like pasta and fried cheese might give you an initial burst of energy, but will cause a slump shortly after because of the energy it takes for the body to process them. Aim to fill most of your plate with fresh fruits and veggies and low-fat proteins for sustainable energy that will keep you productive during the day.


    3. Get at Least 15 Minutes of Sunshine

    Make it a point when you work from home to not stay holed up all day at your desk. Getting outside has numerous health benefits, according to Harvard University research, including helping people get their daily intake of disease-fighting vitamin D. Getting more exposure to light is also a mood booster, while the physical activity of taking a walk outside increases the production of feel-good endorphins and can help improve concentration. Use a time when you are feeling a mental block and need some inspiration to take a quick walk and take time to appreciate nature while you enjoy being active.


      Working from home often means you can be more flexible in not just how you spend your time, but where you work, too. If all you need is Wi-Fi to accomplish a task, changing up your work environment by heading to an outdoor cafe can be a way to get re-energized while you get some sunshine.


      4. Exercise for at Least 30 Minutes

      Being busy should never be an excuse not to exercise, since a lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle decreases energy levels, which hampers productivity. It also means an increased chance of developing chronic illness, diabetes, and heart disease, which could significantly impact your ability to work in the future for a longer time.

      The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week, or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days a week to maintain overall cardiovascular health. Weight-bearing activities are also essential to protect bone health and burn more calories while at rest to maintain an optimal body mass index. Integrating at least 30 minutes of exercise into each workday schedule helps you stay on track to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keeps energy levels up so you can produce better work.

      5. Reward Yourself as You Successfully Accomplish Tasks

      Maintain workday momentum by taking a quick break to reward yourself with every task you accomplish. Working straight through can dull concentration and actually make it take longer to accomplish work. Health magazine reports short and frequent breaks increase stamina and decrease aches and pains felt while working.

      Make sure you’re rewarding yourself healthily and not by eating an energy-sapping candy bar or getting sucked into a television series. This is where a quick walk outside not only gives you a chance to recharge, but you’ll also be getting exposure to vitamin D and burning some calories. Crossing off a quick item from your outside-of-work to-do list, such as calling a relative or getting groceries, helps you foster a better work-life balance before you get back to your job.

      Featured photo credit: via

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      Published on December 13, 2018

      How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

      How to Start a Company from Scratch (A Step-By-Step Guide)

      If you’ve ever thought about starting and running your own business, you’re not alone. Being your own boss, having flexibility with your schedule and keeping more of the financial rewards that come with business ownership are all good reasons to own your own company.

      But as you might expect, it’s not all vacations and fat bank accounts. According to the SBA, 2/3 of businesses survive at least 2 years and approximately 50% survive 5 years.[1] So why is the failure rate so high? At least for the businesses that fail early on, lack of, or poor planning can be a major factor.

      So how to start a company?

      Starting a business from scratch doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, but it does take planning and work. Here are the first and most important 9 steps to take when your are starting a company from scratch.

      1. Do an Honest Evaluation of Yourself

      Do you work better in a structured or unstructured environment? Does a daily routine reduce your anxiety? What kinds of things are you good at? Does public speaking or making presentations make you nervous? Are you good at accounting and numbers? Can you handle the rejections you’re bound to get when selling or cold calling?

      These are all important questions to ask yourself, in fact it’s a good idea to get other peoples opinion about their perception of you in each of these situations.

      Whatever the answers you come up with for your evaluation, remember that’s all it is, an evaluation of where you are now. Think of it as a way to identify both your areas of strength and weaknesses.

      You maybe good at public speaking which can help when raising money, but bad at accounting which just means that you’ll need to find some kind of help with that area of the business.

      2. Evaluate Your Idea

      If your business idea involves a new product or service (or even an enhancement to an existing product or service), it needs to be evaluated. This is technically called market research.

      There are firms that specialize in doing market research for new products, but if you are on a tight budget, you can do this yourself.

      First, if you can build a prototype for people to use, touch and look at that’s the best option. If a prototype is not possible or it’s a service business, then offer a highly descriptive presentation of the business plan complete with it’s unique benefits and how it’s different from the competition.

      Then listen! Remember that this is not about others liking your product, this is not your baby that they are talking about. You want honest market research that gives you the best chance for a successful business. Take notes, when someone tells you that they didn’t like a feature or some aspect of your idea tell them ‘Thank you”.

      After several rounds of market research with different groups of people, you should see patterns emerging about things that they both liked and didn’t like. Use this information to tweak your product or service and do another round of market research.

      Keep in mind that you’ll never come up with a universally loved product, your job is to produce a product or service that appeals to the broadest range of your target market.


      3. Make a Business Plan

      I know, I know this isn’t the “fun” part of starting your own business, but it is an very important step in creating a successful business!

      Basically, you can think of a business plan as an outline or blueprint of your business. A good business plan should have the following elements:

      • Executive Summary – This should lay out the businesses product or service and the problem that it solves for the consumer.
      • Market Evaluation – This should talk about the market you are serving. Is it an expanding market, and how does your product better fulfill the consumers in that market.
      • Market Strategies – How are you going to penetrate the market and sell your product.
      • Operational Plan – How will the company run from day to day? Who are the key employees and what are their specific rolls. Do your key players have specific goals set for them in advance?

      A final word on making a business plan: while lying is never acceptable especially when you are using the business plan to raise money, it is acceptable to “put your best foot forward”.

      Playing up the positives while minimizing the negatives is almost expected in a business plan.

      Besides, banks as well as professional investors will both do a more in-depth analysis before investing any money into your idea.

      4. Decide on a Business Structure

      You have many options here, and discussing them with your accountant or financial adviser is really the only way to know what’s right for you. But just to give you a quick rundown of the types of business entities and their pros and cons we will briefly go through them:

      Sole Proprietorship

      This is a common way for small businesses to get started.

      The pros being:

      Relatively low costs to set up (usually a business license and sales tax license).Owners normally do not have to set up a special bank account, they are allowed to use their personal one. Any income earned can be offset by other losses (check with your state!). You as the sole proprietor have complete control over all decision making. 

      Finally, sole proprietorship’s are relative easy to dissolve.

      The cons of using a sole proprietorship include:

      You as the sole proprietor can be held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the company. Some benefits, such as health insurance premiums, are not directly deductible from business income.

      If you need to raise money, you are not allowed to sell an equity stake in the company. In that same vein, hiring key people maybe more difficult because you cannot offer them an equity stake in the company.


      A partnership is formed when two or more people decide to start a business. Although there is no legal requirement for any documentation to form a partnership, it is my advice that you never enter into a partnership without having a partnership agreement. (Remember, spending $1500 now can save you $150,000 in legal fees later!).

      The pros of a partnership include:

      Being relatively easy and inexpensive to start. Hiring key employees can be easier as you are allowed to give equity ownership to as many partners as you want.

      For tax purposes, partnerships are relative simple as any income is treated as “pass through” meaning that each partner pays tax on their individual portion of the partnerships income (As of this writing, always check with your tax adviser).


      As far as the cons go:

      It can be difficult for some general partnerships to raise capitol. Because it is a partnership, the actions of one of the partners can obligate the entire organisation. All profits must be shared according to the partnership agreement regardless of the amount of work done by any single partner.

      Some employee benefits may not be able to be deducted on income tax returns.

      Limited Liability Company (LLC)

      This is a very popular business entity for small to medium sized businesses. The reason for this is the cost of set up is not prohibitive and there is a separation between the owners and the company.

      The pros of an LLC include:

      Limited liability for the partners, unlike sole proprietorship’s and partnerships where the owners are held responsible for all of the companies debts and liabilities, an LLC provides some protection against certain debts and liabilities that are solely the companies.

      Simple taxation, just like the sole proprietorship and partnerships, income is considered “pass through” and is only taxed once on an individual level.

      There is no limit on the number of shareholders in an LLC. An LLC requires fewer fillings and administrative requirements than a corporation.


      A corporation is much more complex and expensive to set up. And a corporation is legally considered an independent entity that is separate from its owners.

      The pros of a corporation include:

      Complete separation between the owners and the company. Because the corporation is considered its own legal entity, owners can not be held personally responsible for any debts or liabilities of the company.

      A corporation can raise capital much easier just by selling more shares in the company.

      Cons of corporations include:

      Much higher administrative costs than any other business entity. Corporations generally have a higher tax rate. Dividends are not tax deductible for corporations. Income paid in dividends is taxed twice, once by the corporation and again by the shareholder.

      Again, this is just a short summary of the pros and cons, always check with your tax adviser about what will work best in your situation.

      5. Address Finances

      Again, not one of the “Sexier” parts of starting your business from scratch, but very important nonetheless.

      So, you’ve done your business plan and an estimate of your start up funding should be included. It should include the amount of funding you’ll need to get you through your first full year of operations.

      Now, how do you get that money?


      Self Funding

      If possible, self funding is the easiest. You won’t have to go to banks and investors with hat in hand, or give up ownership or control of your company. But as we know, this is not a reality for most people. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available.

      Friends and Family

      They can be a good source of funding your business if they can see and understand your vision.

      Remember that business plan? Pass them out to everyone you know. Then follow up, be prepared to tell them the total amount of money you expect to raise, the minimum investment you are looking for and what you will give in return for the investment.

      For example, you give a friend your business plan and follow up with him/her a few days later. You can explain that you have secured funding for $80,000 of the $100,000 you need. You are selling a 2% share in the company for every $2,000 investment. How many shares would he like?

      And when he/she tells you no, thank him/her and ask if he/she can think of anyone off the top of his head who might be interested? Tell him/her you really appreciate his/her time and if he/she does come across someone who might be interested to let you know.


      These guys are happy to lend you money when you don’t need it, but all of the sudden they get stingy when you actually need a loan! This is where preparation comes in.

      It’s a good idea to go over your business plan with an expert and maybe even have it rewritten by an expert before you approach either a bank or professional investor. Both will want to go over your business plan with a fine tooth comb, verifying all the numbers and data you provide.

      You should also brush up on everything in the plan so that you can answer any questions they have with authority.


      Finally, there is crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Crowdfunding helps to build interest, community spirit, and a customer base. It’s also an efficient way to raise funds. You can take a look at these tips to find out more:

      6 Crowdfunding Tips To Get Your Project 100 Percent Funded

      6. Register with the Government

      As stated earlier, different types of business entities have different filling and administrative requirements. At the very least, you’ll probably need a business license as well as a state sales tax license.

      Unless you are forming a corporation, there are many good resources on the web that will do everything for you at a minimal cost.

      7. Assemble Your Team

      Remember when we evaluated your strengths and weaknesses? Here is where we fill in the gaps!

      Do you hate sales and cold calling? Great! There are people who love selling and wouldn’t want to do anything else.


      Bored to death with accounting? There are a ton of small accounting firms out there that will take care of that for you.

      What about marketing? You can hire someone in-house or out-source that too.

      Your job is to keep on top of all the different aspects of the business to make sure they are all running smoothly and getting the results you need. If not, it’s your job to figure out the problem and implement a solution.

      Check out this guide and learn how to delegate effectively:

      How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

      8. Buy Insurance

      No matter what kind of business you start, you need insurance! Yes, I know, no one likes to buy insurance, but it can literally be the difference between having a minor inconvenience and declaring bankruptcy.

      We live in a very litigious time, even a minor slip and fall at your place of business could bankrupt you without insurance. If you need help finding a good agent, check with your local trade organizations or fellow business owners.

      9. Start Branding Yourself

      Has anyone ever ask you for a Kleenex or a QTip? We all know what they are because of branding, Kleenex is just a brand of tissue and QTip is just a brand of cotton swab. It doesn’t have to be as widely known as Kleenex or QTip, but you can make your brand a common name within your niche.

      I once owned a manufacturing company that developed a product that was so popular that my competitors started co-opting my brand name for their products.

      If you aren’t sure how to kickstart branding yourself, check out these ways:

      5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand & Make More Money

      The Bottom Line

      Starting a business from scratch can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.

      But do you know what’s even more rewarding? Having a business that succeeds, is profitable and provides a good source of income for you, your employees and their family’s.

      More Resources About Entrepreneurship

      Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via


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