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INNOVATE

Work From Home for Profit (Not in Your Pajamas)

How Southeast Asian entrepreneurs can avoid the commute and stay on track

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BY Melissa G. Bagamasbad - 13 May 2016

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Nowadays, it’s getting more and more tempting to work from home instead of going to the office for the daily 9-to-6. This is especially true in Southeast Asia, where several of the region's major cities have the worst traffic in the world—Bangkok, Jakarta, and Manila are commonly listed among the world’s major cities with the heaviest traffic.

Working at home is a good solution, since it allows one to be their own boss and to have flexibility and comfort. It is especially convenient if one is a parent taking care of growing kids. “Working from home is now trending primarily because of the enormous opportunities it offers,” explained Jane Maghanoy, Work at Home Mom (WAHM) Coach. “It allows people to have freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment especially if you are a mother.”

To those wary that a work office means never changing out of your pajamas, here are three tips to stay on track:

1. A clear drive, with the right attitude, skills and knowledge, is the perfect combination to make work at home successful

Maghanoy believes that working at home successfully starts in the mind. It is not the easiest thing in the world and requires much discipline, so a lot of mental conditioning is important. “People need to identify first the reason why they want to pursue working from home,” she says.

2. Take a break from solitude and share your working space

Do this for a change of scenery, and to optimize working. This is also advantageous for those working in creative fields such as writing and designing, since the change in setting could trigger creative juices. While some of these shared working spaces might cost more than working out of coffee shops (another mobile office), they have the right ambiance, reliable Internet, and "co-workers" that can simulate the ideal working environment. (There are also those that come with great food and drinks.)

3. Watch every penny

When it comes to the financial aspect and benefits, it might be hard in the beginning, but there are those who work at home who have doubled or tripled their income. Be on the lookout for freelancer groups on social media that can give you tips on taxation, benefits, etc. for your own country. Maghanoy says that since finances can be harder to manage for those who work at home, do so wisely. “With regard to payment handling, it is a must that you have to be proactive rather than reactive,” she said. This especially applies to those who are not always paid on time, since not meeting with your employer face-to-face can result in irregular payments. “Implement necessary precautions that will keep you from not being paid,” said Maghanoy. “For example, set a policy that requires 50% [down payment] before working on a project.”

Vist Maghanoy’s website at here to learn more about working at home and to contact her for questions.

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