The internet has allowed thousands of companies to get rid of costly infrastructure by having people work from home. This idea sounds like a blessing–I mean come on, you can make money in your underwear–yet working from home can be a double-edgde sword.
Working from home can be useful and helpful to many people’s daily lives, but it can also be difficult in a whole different way than working from an office. Here are some tips on how to work from home, successfully:
Keep distractions to a minimum.
This is the number one problem for people working from home: Distractions. They are everywhere. From your family, to your kitchen or your girlfriend, you are going to feel the urge to put off work to talk to your spouse, or grab a snack. Don’t let this become a habit. Do what you would do at your office – take breaks and use them to talk to loved ones and eat.
Have a schedule.
And stick to it. This will help with distractions and productivity. Have a to do list, or a set schedule and make sure you stick to it. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you are when you have a list to check off.
It can get lonely.
Interact with people daily. One downside of working at home is the fact you are alone. No water cooler talk. No human interaction (generally). This can get tiring, so make sure to go out and interact with people when you are not working. Working at home should give you more time to go out – so make sure you do!
Create a work environment.
Make your at home office look like a work office. It will help keep your mind focused on work and not home when you need to. Plus, if you ever need to go back to an office from home it won’t be such a drastic change.
Allow yourself to go out, if needed.
If you are feeling some cabin fever, allow yourself the time to go out. Take your laptop out to a coffee shop, or even just your deck, for a few hours. It will help you feel less isolated and may even help with your work ethic.
Do not try to work in your pajamas, or your birthday suit, you need to feel as though working from home is working or else you will never get anything done. Get up, get dressed, then go to work (at home). You can make every day casual Friday, but you still need to get dressed.
Use your time wisely.
Use the time saved from commuting to do things OTHER THAN WORK. You won’t be commuting so you’ll have some extra time on your hands – use it! Go out, stay in, it doesn’t matter, but do not do work in that time. Take that extra time for yourself – as a reward of sorts.
Follow these tips and working from home should be easier to manage – you may even find you get just as much done, in less time. Leaves you with more time for yourself, and your family.
One thing to remember though is that, if working from home is optional , then you should show up and impress your boss. In the words of Woody Allen, “80 percent of life is showing up.”