People think that individuals who work from home, sleep in late, sit around in their pajamas all day long, and enjoy leisurely lunches. While this can be true for some work from home jobs, the vast majority of professionals treat working from home as they would their regular jobs, with the benefits of flexibility, a better work-life balance, and financial savings on everyday transportation and childcare costs.
Working from home requires you to use a range of skills; you need to be self-disciplined, be independent, have excellent organizational and communication skills, and the ability to block out all those everyday distractions.
Flexible working is becoming the new normal, with an upward trend in the number of remote workers over the past ten years. Starting to work from home can be a challenge; these tips will give you some great suggestions to ensure you succeed when working from home.
Tips To Succeed When Working From Home
The number one tip to keep you on track when working from home is to get organized. If you have difficulties managing your time, then you are going to fail.
I have found the best way to keep on track is to create a routine and stick to it, I write to-do lists (yes I know, mundane but essential to motivate myself), and I have a filing system that works.
As there is no one to tell me what to do next, I prioritize my work for the day and week, and to keep focused, I take stock of where I am a couple of times a week.
Plan Your Day
You need to minimize distractions to be successful. Plan your day around your family, if you have kids that arrive home at 3.30 pm then stop working then, start work earlier or have a shorter lunch break so you can achieve your objectives during those less busy times. You will achieve more and significantly reduce your stress levels.
Organize A Work Space
Organize a comfortable office area away from your bedroom or the television; if you give yourself the feel of an office environment, free from distractions, you will be more productive.
If your position involves working on the computer, then ensure you keep up to date with how to use your computer effectively and learn all there is to know about the software you will be using so you can keep your computer running if anything goes wrong.
You may wish to purchase a computer backup service or drive. If you lose a piece of work, it’s your responsibility as you don’t have an IT team to retrieve it from the work servers.
One of the first mistakes I made when I started working from home was trying to do a million things at once. Limit the number of times you check your emails and social media accounts and keep out of the way of family members at home; these are two of the obvious distractions to avoid.
Minimize these distractions as much as you can to stay focused and remain productive.
Take regular breaks as this helps your physical and mental health. If you were working in an office, you would regularly chat with your colleagues, walk to the other side of the building to get something or make a cuppa, working from home should be no different. You obviously will be unable to walk to the other side of the building, but you can walk around your garden or make a drink, these breaks will help you stay productive.
Be A Proative Communicator
One of your top priorities when working from home is being a successful communicator.
Your written communication needs to be clear, concise, and direct to ensure your message is easy to understand and digest.
In-depth discussions are challenging when you are working from home, chat software and video conferencing can provide a way to overcome this problem and also provide you with a way to keep in the loop with office discussions.
There is also a lot to be said about spending time with your co-workers, try to attend social gatherings and conferences to build relationships which make working away from the office easier.
Avoid Working During Your Personal Time
When you work from home, inevitably, there are occasions when you have an important deadline and have to work during your home time, its so easy to pick up your laptop with the objective of ‘just finishing that article you were in the middle of.’
Working in your free time is a quick and easy way to get burnt out, set specific work hours, and stick to them; you will be more productive for it.
Working from home can be challenging, it is not for everyone, but after a few years, you will not want to go back to the daily commute and miss out on all the freedom that comes from doing your job from home.