As I mentioned in this post, I worked from my home office for seven years. While I now have and prefer a separate office space, I can understand why many choose to work from home. According to this Forbes article from last year, one in five Americans works from home, and it’s estimated that the number of Americans working from home is expected to skyrocket by 63% during the next five years.
Working from home isn’t for everybody (I’ve worked with folks for whom it was a disaster), but there are some simple things that anyone can employ to make working from home more productive and fulfilling. Here are some of those tips:
1) Set a routine.
The hardest part about working from home is not having a routine. When you’re working in a office, you’re typically there for 8 hours and have a little break for lunch during the afternoon. When you set your own schedule, it’s easy to be too relaxed about it. You wake up whenever you want, eat whenever you want, and take a break whenever you want. Before you know it, you’ve been working for 12 hours and haven’t gotten much done. If you want to be productive while working at home, set a routine. Determine a period of the day when you should be working. Schedule a couple breaks in there. But aside for that, treat your job just the same as you would if you were working in an office environment.
3) Get rid of any distractions.
If you’re working from home, there can be a lot of distractions. Don’t let them get in the way of your productivity. If you have young kids who are at home during the day, it might be a good idea to find someone to watch them so that you are not juggling work and childcare at the same time. You should also turn off any electronics, like the radio or television. Refrain from checking social media too much as well, as those things can easily become an hour-long distraction.
4) Create a home office.
Even though you are working from home, you want to feel like you are in a professional setting. Find some space in your home, no matter how small it is, where you can set up your office or desk. Make sure that it is in an area where it is relatively quiet, if there are others home at the same time as well. If you create a comfortable work environment for yourself at home, you’ll be able to get more done.
5) Get out every once in awhile.
One of the more difficult things about working from home is being by yourself for extended periods of time. Sometimes you just need human interaction. If you find that you are getting a little stir-crazy, schedule some off-site work days. Find a Starbucks or a coffee shop with WiFi and spend a few hours working there. Getting out every once in awhile will help you refocus mentally.
6) Be committed.
The most important thing to remember when working from home is to be committed. Be just as dedicated and determined as you would with any other job. There are many great benefits to working remotely, such as having a flexible schedule. Take advantage of them.