How To Work From Home

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Finding & Excelling in Home-Based Jobs

Offering flexibility, freedom, and a healthy dose of work-life balance, remote work isn’t just for travellers and digital nomads anymore.

The landscape of employment is evolving, and thanks to the effects of lockdown, technological improvements and increased accessibility, the conventional 9-to-5 office routine is gradually giving way to flexible work arrangements. 

You can discover more about what remote work is and what it entails here.

If you’ve been contemplating making the shift to work from home but are unsure where to start, I’ve got you covered. This comprehensive guide is your key to unlocking the world of remote work, offering insights, strategies, and practical tips to help you find and excel in home-based jobs.

Find Remote Work Opportunities To Work From Home

The first step on your remote work journey involves exploring the myriad opportunities available.

Exploring Side Hustles

In the gig economy, side hustles are a great gateway to begin your work form home journey, and allow you to build up your skills, portfolio and client base in a low-risk environment. 

Recent statistics show a significant rise in the number of people earning a substantial income through side gigs, making it a viable entry point into the remote work sphere. 

Skills-based gigs: Platforms like Upwork, and Fiverr are the best-known and most popular for this purpose. They connect freelancers with clients globally across all sorts of industries and skills including writing, graphic design, web design, virtual assisting and more. 

Personally, I prefer Upwork as it is easier to find clients as the onus is with you as the worker to apply and bid for the listed gigs. With Fiverr, you list your skills and services and employers come to you.

There are plenty of sites like these around (Guru, Freelancer, CloudDevs) so do your research, read reviews and find one that will work for you and your skills. 

E-commerce: Build an online store on sites like Etsy, Shopify or Amazon, selling handcrafted goods or curated vintage finds. If you are a writer, you can even self-publish your stories, poems etc. on Amazon. In this way, you can monetise your hobbies and get paid for doing the things that you enjoy. 

If you’ve got a unique and/or in-demand skill, you can consider putting together an online course or masterclass that you can sell on a course marketplace like Udemy, or Skillshare. This is a great option to create a source of passive income: not only can they be sold an unlimited number of times but online courses are pretty affordable to create, take less time, and don’t involve any shipping costs.

Blogging and content creation: Share your expertise through a blog or social media channels, and monetise through ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored content. It is easier than you think to begin making money as a content creator, and often you can start applying for affiliate programs and brand deals with a less followers than you think!

work from home on laptop

Approaching Your Current Employer

Shifting to work from home doesn’t always mean changing jobs. With the growing acceptance of flexible work arrangements, many companies are open to discussions about telecommuting. Learn how to make a compelling case for remote work to your employer, backed by success stories and data showcasing increased productivity in remote settings.

When I first became a digital nomad, I had a full-time job working in compliance. I proposed a compromise to my employer offering to take a salary reduction and cut my hours if I could work from anywhere in the world. It was easier for the company to allow me to work from anywhere than to have to recruit and train someone to replace me, and in the end, I didn’t even take a salary cut. 

Honestly, the worst thing that they can do is say no. At least then you will have an answer, and you can begin planning your next moves and looking for a job that will allow you to work remotely.

Using Job Portals

So you’ve decided to switch to a remote job and work from home – what you need now are specialised job portals like Remote OK and FlexJobs that cater exclusively to remote job seekers. Uncover the hidden gems in the digital job market through these platforms, ensuring a seamless transition into the remote workforce.

These dedicated portals curate thousands of home-based opportunities across various industries. One of our favourites is Remote Rebellion, run by the fantastic Michelle Coulson, one of our DNA community members. You read about Michelle’s story and her experience in remote work and recruitment in this blog post.

DNA is even partnering with Remote Rebellion to bring you the Remote Rebellion Retreat – learn more about it and register your interest here.

Setting Up a Work From Home Office

Whether you’ve got your new remote gig, or if you’re still in the prepping stages, your home is now your office. You’ll need to make some changes, and transforming parts of your living space into a productive workspace requires thoughtful planning.

Creating an Efficient Workspace

It’s important to carve out a space that separates your work and personal lives so you can maintain your productivity and your work-life balance. Explore tips on designing an efficient home office, including lighting, ergonomics, and layout, to create a conducive environment for remote work.

Think about the best place to set up your workspace. Maybe you’ve got a spare room that you can make into a dedicated office. If you don’t then think about the quietest places in your home that could work, spaces that have minimal distractions and foot traffic.  

Essential Home Office Tools

Equip yourself with the right tools to streamline your home-based job. It’s equally vital that your workstation is kitted out with the right gear and accessories to make the day more bearable and comfortable.

If you don’t sit correctly or take frequent breaks when you’re working, you run the risk of strains, aches, and injuries.

Reliable internet connection: This is your lifeline, so upgrade your Wi-Fi plan if necessary.

Noise-cancelling headphones: Drown out background noise and stay focused.

Project management software: Tools like Notion, Asana or Trello help organise your tasks and deadlines.

Ergonomic set-up: I’m not saying to go all out and kit yourself out with the best desk chair on the market and a fully adaptable standing desk but it’s important to consider your physical health if you’re going to be spending hours sitting in front of your screen. 

Consider getting a chair with decent lumbar support, or if you don’t want to get a whole new piece of furniture you can get ergonomic cushions and supports that can be attached to your existing chair.

Things like a laptop stand, wrist supports for typing, and a wireless mouse can also be great to protect your joints from long-term strain and injury. 

laptop and coffee on the sofa

Maintaining Productivity When You Work From Home

Remote work is not without its challenges, one of the most significant being the potential loss of productivity. It’s very easy to distract yourself when surrounded by your own stuff and without external pressures to stay on task. Learn how to overcome these hurdles.

Time Management Techniques

Effective time management is the cornerstone of successful remote work. Delve into proven techniques to structure your day, set priorities, and meet deadlines without the constraints of a traditional office setting.

The Pomodoro Technique: Work in focused 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between to maintain peak efficiency.

Create a daily schedule: Plan your tasks and stick to a routine to avoid procrastination. I like to use Notion for this, but experiment with different productivity tools and see what works for you. 

Utilise productivity apps: Time-tracking tools like Toggl or RescueTime can help you analyse your workflow and identify areas for improvement.

Avoiding Distractions

Distractions while you work from home are aplenty. Navigate the sea of interruptions by implementing strategies to create a focused work environment, ensuring your professional life doesn’t succumb to the comforts of home.

Silence notifications: Put your phone on silent and close unnecessary browser tabs.

Let housemates, friends and family know your work hours: Set boundaries and communicate your “office time” expectations. Obviously, if you live with others, you can’t just unilaterally decide on rules but make compromises and reasonable requests that will allow you to focus better.

Utilise website blockers: Apps like Freedom can temporarily restrict access to distracting websites and social media. 

Another option is to cut these distractions out altogether and find a separate workspace outside of your home. Whether you opt for the local library, a coffee shop or other dedicated coworking space, they can be really beneficial to productivity.

Maintaining Your Social Life When Working From Home

Remote work doesn’t mean isolation. Nurture your social connections even when your colleagues are a screen away. 

group of friends enjoying beers

Online Communities

Joining online communities of like-minded individuals can provide the social interaction often missed in traditional office settings. Platforms like Slack and Discord offer virtual water coolers where remote workers share experiences and build connections.

Join remote work Facebook groups or online forums to connect with other home-based professionals, share tips, and build a virtual support network. You can join our DNA community group over on Facebook!

Co-working spaces: Some cities offer co-working spaces where remote workers can work alongside others, combating loneliness and boosting productivity.

Work Away Programmes

So you got your new job and now you work from home! Take your remote work on the road with work-away programs. Digital nomads are some of the original remote workers, and you can join our ranks! Discover how combining work and travel can enrich your professional and personal life, fostering a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

Immerse yourself in new cultures and escape the mundane with programs like Remote Year or Nomad List, allowing you to work from exotic locations while making international connections.

If you’re interested in pursuing a digital nomad lifestyle, then check out our Nomad Adventures to Thailand and Bali!

Digital nomad working from a hammock in thailand

Mental Health And Working From Home

The psychological impact of working from home cannot be ignored. Prioritise your mental well-being. Set limits for yourself and check in regularly with how you’re feeling. 

How To Deal With Isolation

Work from home can be lonely, as now you are your only company throughout the work day. This is common complaint of remote workers and digital nomads. Combat feelings of isolation by incorporating social breaks into your day. Virtual coffee breaks, online team-building activities, and periodic check-ins can bridge the gap between you and your remote colleagues.

Schedule virtual coffee breaks with colleagues: Maintain social connections and combat loneliness through video calls or online chats.

Get outside and stay active: Take regular walks, exercise, or join a local club to break up the day and boost your mood.

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Adopt mindfulness practices to alleviate the stress that can accompany remote work such as working from home. From meditation to yoga, explore techniques that promote mental clarity and emotional resilience.

Practice meditation or mindfulness exercises: Apps like Headspace or Calm can guide you through simple techniques to de-stress and improve focus.

Set boundaries between work and personal life: Stick to your scheduled work hours and avoid checking emails or work messages outside of those times.

yoga by the pool


As you embark on this work from home journey, remember that remote work is not just about where you work but how you work. The world of possibilities is at your fingertips, and with the right mindset and tools, you can not only survive but thrive in the home-based job landscape. Embrace the flexibility, connect with the global workforce, and revel in the freedom that work from home situations afford.

With the right tools, strategies, and a dedication to well-being, you can excel in the remote world and unlock a career filled with freedom, flexibility, and endless possibilities.

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