An increasing number of people are quitting the office job and discovering the joys of being your own boss in your own time in your own home with your own lunch breaks. Whether these people are entrepreneurs building an e-commerce Web site, investors pitting their financial acumen against various short-term trading and day-trading opportunities, freelancers doing what they love to do and getting paid for it, or enterprising individuals playing the role of the middleman in online auction sites such as eBay, the growth in the number of stay-at-home workers is staggering. But with high numbers comes high competition. With high competition comes high risks for losses. And with high risks for losses comes high levels of stress.
Working from home is not as carefree as it may at first appear. Numerous individuals have walked out of the office environment, bravely charting new territory in the realm of the pajama people, only to find themselves back in the office within a matter of months. There is always going to be a certain amount of pressure when it comes to taking charge of your own financial destiny and severing your ties to the 9-to-5 rat race. The good news is that there are many steps you can take to avert common pressure cookers.
Let us start with the basics, the things many readers will have already been exposed to in those admittedly boring occupational-health-and-safety (OHbutukS) modules that form the foundation of many company inductions these days. After all, a tension-filled body results in a tension-filled mind, and you would be getting off to a terrible start by neglecting the comfort requirements of your body. Do not worry — you will not be forking out money for an ergonomic keyboard or for one of those bizarre kneeling-posture chairs. Our advice will be moderate and easy on the wallet.
Many guides on office ergonomics are riddled with impractical lists of overly precise lengths and angles. One would pretty much need a ruler, protractor, and plumb line for making the recommended adjustments. We will take a far more pragmatic approach. Common sense is the order of the day. For instance, it would not take you long to discover that a computer mouse situated near and on the same level as the keyboard is more comfortable to use than one that is not. Likewise, sitting deep into a chair with your back well supported and your feet flat on the floor is less taxing on your body than is spending long periods in a crooked position. The basic guideline to follow is to listen to your body.
Some people tolerate high levels of ambient noise, whereas other people are vexed by a pin drop. Maintaining a noise level that is suitable for you aids your concentration and calms your mood. Oil or replace noisy computer case and CPU fans. If you are unfortunate enough to be living in a neighborhood that is undergoing building work or that has one too many barking dogs, consider purchasing a set of soundproof headphones. On the other hand, some people simply cannot work in complete silence and find that playing background music or turning on the television helps a lot, conventional study advice be damned!
Temperature and humidity are also up to you. Unlike working in an office, nobody is going to give you funny looks if you sit around in your underwear on a hot summer day. It may be worth nothing that low humidity leads to dry eyes and eyestrain, though.
Having plenty of air ventilation is most certainly not a matter of personal preference. A simple demonstration of the importance of a well ventilated room or office would be to sleep one night in a bedroom that has all doors and windows closed, with fresh air coming through only narrow gaps here and there. You will surely learn your lesson when you wake the following morning feeling drowsy. Note, however, that having air currents moving past or into your eyes can result in eyestrain.
For a touch of variety, consider burning a stick of incense or a scented candle. Play some classical music or New Age music such as Enya if you are really keen on creating an environment that is conducive to stress-free work