There are many advantages of working from home. There is no commute back and forth to work, which saves you time and money. You may be able to create your schedule, which gives you flexibility.
However, there are also challenges when you work at home. It can be all too easy for your attention to be pulled toward the needs of your home environment.
How do you keep from getting distracted? How do you handle someone who stops by unannounced in the middle of the day? How do you give your full attention to your work if your kids are around?
Below are some ideas and suggestions that could help you be more effective and efficient when working at home.
Tips on Working from Home
People with experience in working from home have shared some tips to make it a successful employment arrangement. See if you have utilized any of these helpful hints, and if not, consider implementing one or more of them into your working-from-home strategies.
- Create a Daily Schedule
While there may be flexibility in working from home, it can be easy to become distracted and miss out on productive work hours. On the flip side, you could work too many hours, impacting your personal and family life. To help solve these problems, set a daily work schedule, so you have well defined hours for work.
During your scheduled time, if you can, avoid personal phone calls and emails. Working from home requires organization and time management skills and having a set work schedule can help.
- Let Others Know Your Work Hours
Now that you've set your schedule, hang it on your door for others to see and do not deviate from these hours. Have a voicemail set up that lets your callers know your work hours and ask them to leave a message, you will call them back once you are available.
- Get Out of the House
When you work from home, it can be difficult to meet new people and build workplace relationships. Schedule time to leave your home and get out there in the world to meet new people or spend time with existing friends. If they live local to you, consider setting up lunch plans with colleagues to build comradery, just like you would if you worked in a brick and mortar workplace.
Depending on the role you have, you may not have colleagues. This is especially true if you are an independent contractor or the sole employee of your company. If this is the case for you, you can still network virtually on sites such as LinkedIn. You may find many LinkedIn groups that relate to your line of work or other interests you have. You can also build a professional profile that shows your expertise and allows others to find you, which may also help to grow your business.
- Schedule Personal Appointments Outside Your Work Schedule
If possible, avoid making non-work appointments during your scheduled work time. Instead, make your appointments in the early morning, over lunch, or after your work hours. That will help you stay focused during work hours, and keep you from stopping to run errands on your way home from the doctor's office.
- Pretend You Are Not Home
Do not answer your door unless concerned about an emergency. By doing so, you won't be interrupted by deliveries, or by anyone else who may be stopping by.
Lastly, schedule yourself a lunch hour and even a small break. Take this time to get outside, even if just for a few minutes. Breaks are important and help you clear your mind or stretch your legs.