In today’s connected world, more and more employees are enjoying the flexibility and freedom of being able to work from home. Some do it occasionally while others have a full-time work-at-home gig. Whatever your situation may be or become, working from home requires some special accommodations to be sure you are as productive as possible. Here are 4 tried-and-true tips to make working from home a success.
- Create a Secluded Work Area
It’s easy for someone who works from home to blur the lines between home and work life. Getting into work mode can be difficult if you are staring at a sink-full of dirty dishes or are propped up on your bed with a laptop. No matter the size of your living space, it’s imperative to designate an area that is your own personal workspace. If you have an extra room in your home to call your office, you’re in luck! Clear out all non-work related items and make the room a work only space. No kids’ toys. No laundry hampers. No workout equipment. You get the idea. This should be the space where your mind is work-focused and free of any household distractions. If you have a smaller living space, such as an apartment, partition off an area to call your own. Get a small desk and a work chair. Find a folding separation wall if you can to ward off interruptions and diversions. By making the distinction between home life and office life and establishing boundaries, you will be able to better concentrate and hammer away at the work at hand.
- Dress for Work
It’s tempting to sit around in your pajamas or sweats all day when you work from home. Who needs to shower, dress, or tend to that knotty hair? You should. While you need not put on a suit and tie or dress to the nines, putting yourself together will get you motivated and ready for a work day. Clean up, put on some decent clothes, and comb your hair. You’ll feel more confident and competent to do your job with a positive attitude that comes from looking presentable. Your change in clothing will help distinguish work time from free time, plus, you never know if you’ll get a visit from a delivery person or solicitor! Dress for success no matter where you are – even at home.
- Have a Set Schedule
You may have flexible work hours as someone who works from home, but why leave yourself open to an all-hours work day? Create a reasonable work day that fits your needs. Try to pair it with the traditional work day (9-5) or match your hours with your in-office counterparts. If you leave your day wide open, you may find yourself at the computer at 9 p.m. when you’d rather be relaxing with your spouse or partner. You may also feel a sense of worry when you don’t get started with work early. That looming pile of work won’t go away by itself. So set an alarm, get up when you would if you were going to an office, and stay on track. Also, learn when to call it quits. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you are required to work all day long.
- No Distractions
Consider your home office separate from the rest of the house unless it’s lunch or break time. It’s easy to slip into home-mode when your home is where you actually are. No TV. No personal phone calls. And certainly no naps. If you wouldn’t do it in the office, then don’t do it from your home workspace. If there are others at home, make sure it’s clear that you are not to be interrupted unless it’s an emergency. Be sure you follow those rules too. Stay focused on the work you need to do, and not the housework. If you’ve set your schedule as recommended, you’ll have time for household chores and other personal tasks when your workday is over.
With these 4 important tips in mind, your progress and accomplishments from working at home will be realized. Independence can be an advantage once you put your mind to it. Now, get back to work!