When you work from home on a daily basis, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive. It is important to treat this at-home position like a regular job. Successful at-home workers set schedules, keep time records, and pretend that they’re going to the office every day. If you are an at-home worker, these eight tips will help you stay productive, efficient, and happy while working in your own space. Research shows that 48-percent of workers are happier working from home.
You should do your best not to work in your pajamas every day. Get up at a set time every day, get dressed, and get ready to start working. Even if you aren’t leaving the house, it helps your productivity to at least look the part.
Spend Time Outside
You need to take some time away from your desk and go outside. Take a break during your day, even if it is only for 10-minutes, and get some sunlight. It helps improve your mood and gives your body much-needed vitamin D.
Create a To-Do List
You should have a to-do list or task schedule to tackle every day. Each item on your list should have a set amount of time allotted to it. This helps you organize your day and have a clear plan for the day’s tasks. It is a good idea to schedule tasks for an appropriate amount of time because rushing leads to mistakes and reprimands from the boss that can affect your productivity.
Use an Internet-Based Time Clock
Those working from home often work on an honor system, meaning that employers trust that you are working during the hours expected. To show your employer that you can be trusted, use an internet-based time clock and furnish them with the weekly time records. Displaying that you are responsible helps you stay productive when working from home and may help earn you a pay increase.
Work in an Established Office Space
Do not work in your bedroom, kitchen, or living room. If you are going to work from home on a daily basis, you need an established office space. The space should be decorated for your personal preferences to help you stay motivated. Include plants and uplifting décor so that you are happy working in your personal space.
Establish a Regular Schedule
Whether you work for a company or for yourself, you need a schedule. You should be available during the hours you have stated you will work. You need to maintain a realistic schedule. Even though you work from home, it does not mean you work around the clock. Everyone needs downtime and a set quitting time.
Any work completed after your scheduled time should be considered overtime, and should be paid for accordingly.
Turn Off Distractions
Leaving distractions available to you, such as social media networks, is the most common reason for at-home workers to miss deadlines and decrease productivity. It is a good idea to restrict your Internet access to work-related options only during your work hours. If you learn how to manage distractions you will get more done and communicate with clients better.
There are browser add-ons for nearly every platform, such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, which can be setup to block access to specific websites for a specific set of hours. Setting these distractions to off during your work hours keeps your mind on work-related tasks.
Maintain a Social Life
Having a social life is important if you work from home daily. Interaction with people is necessary to prevent you from becoming an introvert and disconnected with the outside world. When you have plans after work, it helps you remain productive when working from home. You want to work harder and smarter to meet task goals and deadlines.
Those working from home often become introverts, just from the lack of interaction. Daily at-home workers also tend to have less patience when out in public because they are lacking person-to-person interaction.
Those that work in an office setting every day often wish they could work at home. Those working from home daily feel the opposite; some would rather work around people and have that daily interaction. Regardless of your choice, treat your at-home position like a regular job and take it seriously. You are more likely to complete work-related tasks more efficiently when working in comfort.
What do you do on a daily basis that helps you when working from home?
About the Author
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify