We hear all the time about how individuals work from home and the many bonuses this entails. However, once we start working from home, we sometimes find ourselves struggling with this newfound freedom. Maybe we begin taking longer breaks, tune into a program we have wanted to watch all week, sleep in a bit later than we should, or find ourselves out to lunch with friends frequently.
Some of these things may be in fact added bonuses. And as long as you complete your work, you will be just fine. However, there are some traps to avoid when working from home. Because I have tele-commuted for the past six years, I understand that there are some advantages to exploit when working from home; however, the tips listed below will help you to stay on target for your projected goal.
- Treat your home office like your work office. Refrain from playing loud music, bringing non-work related paraphernalia in, and keep your space clean. My workspace is kept clutter-free (Once it gets cluttered, I clean it.), void of schoolwork from children, and toys. When I work, I expect my office to be quiet. Thus, I work while little children sleep and make certain to take conference calls and anything work-related during that time.
- Maintain a schedule while you work. Just because you are at home, does not mean that you can slack off on your work hours. Start working from home at the same time each day. If you want to take an extended lunch from home, fine. Do that. But do it every day. Keep regular hours so that co-workers and clients can reach you.
- Dress professionally. Yes, an occasional pajama day is fine, but the more professional you look, the more professional you will feel. That will carry over into your work.
- Avoid personal phone calls and visits during your work hours. When you are in your office, shut your door and stay there until it’s time for your break. During that time, switch out your laundry, chat with your neighbor, or turn on the television. Before that, however, it’s work time.
- Check in regularly with your boss. If you telecommute, have a weekly phone conference with your superiors to make certain that you are on track. This keeps you accountable. If you work for yourself at home, then, hold yourself accountable to your spouse or your partner. Make goals and set time limits on those goals.
- Pay attention to your competition. Know what technology is fresh on the market in your industry. Keep a scope out on prices and going rates.
- Educate yourself. This will fuel your motivation to work harder and to stay current in your industry and push yourself to the next level.
- Reward yourself. If boredom is your major problem with working from home, then, break things up a bit. One of the advantages to working from home comes with as many breaks as desired (as long as you get your work done). Push yourself to complete a task and then, reward yourself openly once you have attained that goal by going for a walk outside or doing something you enjoy.
- Create a positive workspace that you enjoy. You are going to spend most of your day at your workspace. As a result, create a place you like to be. Decorate the space with colors that keep you awake, but also keep you calm. Decorate the walls with artwork that will motivate you. While you want to be comfortable, too comfortable of a workspace can be a problem. Maintain balance in your style of décor.
- Take regular inventory of your work. This is especially important if you work alone. If you assess your inventory and where you stand, you will expose those weaknesses and strengths. Then, you can evaluate whether or not your situation is working. For example, if you enjoy working from home, but struggle to focus, then, maybe a partner would do you good. It would increase profits and productivity (although with a price), and you could still reap those benefits. Stay on top of yourself.
I am certain that by following the above-mentioned tips that you will find productivity in your work from home. This marks my sixth, almost seventh year, and I thoroughly enjoy my work. I cannot even begin to comprehend going back to an office, and much of my success is attribute to the habits I have established. You can do the same!