How to successfully work from home
Working at home has become increasingly popular these days, and it is also a good option for working moms who want to manage their professional and personal lives. The problem is that being home can get very distracting. Because of that, this article offers some tips to help you figure out how to use your home office as a place to earn money. In addition, there are many people nowadays who are either starting their own business or private companies. So, if this sounds like you, here are some valuable hints.
Although working from home can be less stressful than working at the company, you have to follow the same procedures as though you were in the office. Having a task schedule, a break time, and client list still applies. Even with the pleasure of a TV, couch and kitchen, you still have to prioritize your duties and make yourself as professional as possible. This means you should avoid entertainment such as movies, games and television. Turn off anything that may distract you from doing your work. Keep up with updates, and check your e-mail on a daily basis for client feedback.
Here are some of the things you should consider if you are working from home:
Have a regular start time, break time, lunch time and end time for your work period.
Get up early in the morning whether or not you are going to work in an office building or across the hall. Take breaks during the day as if you are working at an office and use your lunch time appropriately. It will help you stay grounded at your job.
Get dressed up and look professional.
I know this may sound weird because you are not going anywhere beyond your own house but you still need to dress well to get yourself going for the day. Working in your gym clothes is completely different from working in your office clothes. Even if you are not facing a boss or a client, dressing well will give you a sense of accomplishment. Never underestimate the psychological effect.
Have some music at your desk.
Listening to soft music while working can help alleviate stress and give you the drive to work. Many people are cranky in the mornings and having some form of entertainment at their disposal could help ease their tension.
Avoid hanging out with friends and family.
Even though your friends and family know you are working from home, do not let them distract you. Make them understand that you are still working regular hours and that you need to focus on your job. If you have a place of your own, such as a small office or library in your house, close the door while working.
Do not go shopping or go the movies.
As tempting as it sounds, you cannot just leave your job and go shopping – clothes or groceries – during your work day.
Place your children in daycare or hire a babysitter.
If you have children, you should send them to the nearest daycare or hire a nanny, if possible. You will not be able to concentrate much if you have kids around.
Make yourself accountable.
Keep up to date with your work strategy and plan ahead for certain activities. Make a database of all the tasks you completed and create an agenda for the things you need to get done each day.
We asked others who have experience working at home or know others that do what they thought were great methods of staying productive while working at home. They made such great suggestions that we just had to share them with all of you!
“Keep your tasks lists short and attainable during days you know have lots of interruptions, and build in blocks of uninterrupted time to work on larger tasks on other days,” says Stephan Hovnanian, Owner of Shovi Websites.
Everyday is different and if you know what tomorrow is like in advance, plan ahead. Being organized is always a great time saver.
Think about your needs.
Maya Middlemiss, the Managing Director at Casslar Consulting SL says, “When you leave the office and start working flexibly, it can be an automatic assumption that you have to replicate the office environment, but it’s actually a very good moment to think about what your actual needs are, and build something completely new around that.”
While it’s great to have a space that represents your cubicle, working from home is a chance for you to personalize your work space. To keep things uncluttered, you can choose to go wireless. If you want to be environmentally friendly, you can keep files stored on an electronic device.
Stock up on supplies beforehand.
Judy Hojel is an experienced CEO and likes to be prepared for anything, “Having a supply of whatever stationery and equipment is important for your work, so there is no need to race out for supplies and waste time in the middle of the day.”
When you’re out of something like highlighters, it becomes an excuse for you to get out of the house. Not only does getting there take some time but the next thing you know, you’ll be walking up and down every aisle. Keep your supplies stocked so you don’t waste two hours on unnecessary shopping trips.
Establish a routine
“[B]y establishing regular work hours for myself, I’m setting the “habit” of working. If every day is different, my brain doesn’t snap into work mode as easily,” says Brie Reynolds, a Writer and Social Media Manager.
By setting up a routine for yourself, you’ll be able to differentiate your work from your personal time. It’s harder to stay focused when you’re in the comfort of your own home but you can incorporate the two together so that both are balanced.
The exception: Freelancers
“Some creative people work better in an environment with less structure and routine. Being a freelancer allows one to have more flexibility in their work day. Having a pajama clad day of doing work is one of the simple pleasures of working from home…Routine can actually be counter-productive when it comes to thinking up creative ideas,” says Athena Dennis, a freelance Content Marketer and Copywriter.
Those in creative fields like writing, design and visual art may feel boxed in if they’re in a closed space for too long. Creative ideas come at random times and we understand that. You can have a workspace at home but personalize your space. If it’s nice out, take a quick walk outside and enjoy the view. Who knows, you might get an idea or two.
Working from home is ideal for those who are disciplined. Consider these tips on working from home if you have recently started a self-employed business or if you are willing to do it for whatsoever reasons. The same rules used in a corporate office life apply to your home office life as well. Just like any employee, finding the right niche and developing the best work strategy is most important if you want to succeed in the job market today.