Technology in today’s corporate world has opened up new doors to telecommuters everywhere. The ability to interact instantly and submit quality work via the internet has fueled a trend where more and more employees are taking their work from the corporate office to a home office environment. It is important to know the possible downfalls of working from home when making the decision to leave the corporate workplace and join the ranks of home office employees. Here are five tips to successfully work from a home office.
1. Start your workday every day at the same time.
It is important to shower and dress as if you were leaving the house. It is important to keep up with your personal hygiene even though you are working at home. It is drastic that you eat breakfast. One of the worst offenders to productive home office work is failing to treat your job as if it was an occupation. You still have to go to work daily. You may no longer have a 30-minute commute. However, you still need to get to work on time. It is important to get up at a reasonable hour and make your way to your home office just as if you were heading to another location for work.
2. Make a schedule for the day and follow it.
Creating a work schedule to follow will help you alleviate a few of the distractions many tend to find in a home office environment. This step is pivotal when trying to separate your work life from your home life. When you choose to work from home, it is important to use your workday for work. In addition, include a few breaks in the day to give your mind a chance to rest. These breaks should be scheduled as if you were still working in a corporate environment. Do not forget to take a 15-minute break in the morning and another in the afternoon. Get up and stretch. Lunch should be somewhere around midday. Take an hour.
3. Choose a designated area for your work place.
If you intend to stay focused on the tasks at hand you need to set specific space aside that is solely designated for your work. It is tempting to set the laptop on the sofa armrest and progress to typing out that overdue report. However, you will find yourself losing focus more often than not. Your chosen work environment should be one that is quiet and free of distractions. Most people who work at home find it easier to have an office or designated area for this. Also, do not choose a location in your home with a television set. That is just bad for business. Your work environment should be clean and clutter free, at least to the best of your ability. Maintaining a designated home office space will help you be much more productive in your dealings.
4. Get organized.
Do not be afraid to bring a little order to your home office. Start a “To Do” list and cross out the assignments you complete as you do them. Try scheduling your employer’s task’s on a calendar to ensure there finished timely. This will bring you a great sense of accomplishment and gives you something to look back on in order to motivate you through the times you feel your home office just isn’t working for you. Lack of organization in a home office environment will eventually lead to an attitude of nonchalance and unprofessionalism. It will cause work to go undone and assignments to be misplaced. Your desk should look no different from if it was your desk back at the corporate office.
5. Keep you work and home life separate and balanced.
Avoid combining your work and home life more than you already have by relocating your work to a home office. A lot of people end up working too many hours and others end up not working enough. It is best to split your time down the middle. That is why it is important to follow the advice in the first four tips that were presented to you.
In order to be a successful home office worker you will need treat your home office like a workplace. That is why you maintain a daily pre-work routine. That is why you create a daily schedule to bring even more separation and balance to your work and home life. That is why it is imperative that you keep a clean and orderly area of your home as a designated work environment. If you cannot keep the work aspect of your life separated from your home life then maybe working from a home office is not for you. It is not for everybody. However, it can be a rewarding experience for those willing to put the work in when it comes to getting the work done. If you follow these five tips you will find yourself well on your way to being a successful home office worker.
(Image courtesy of Dave Dugdale under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 generic license.)
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