There is a fast-growing number of entrepreneurs that are working from home. They have an office at home, in a co-working space or even in a coffee shop. Thankfully, technology nowadays allows everyone to benefit from the flexibility of working from home when it is either needed or preferred.
Any person who works remotely will tell you that it has its perks, but also some challenges. The downside of working from home may be that you don’t interact so much with other people and you get to feel lonely sometimes. And while working from a remote location will offer a great deal of peace and solitude, an individual will still feel the need to communicate with somebody else.
When one has to work from home, that person must pretty much force himself/herself to wake up at a reasonable hour each morning and develop self-discipline in order not to get sidetracked from his or hers goal. Moreover, the person will need to set up a regular schedule, join networking groups and even adopt some practices that will help him/her manage the time better.
1. Keep regular office hours. The vast majority of people that work remotely consider that their work too much rather than too little. Some workers even go through the daily struggle of maintaining a regular schedule – when working from home, it is far more difficult to set and keep regular office hours. Some may work a couple of hours in one day and the next night they pull an all-nighter. You need to find a way to work smarter, not longer.
Whether you like it or not, interruptions simply cannot be avoided sometimes, especially when you work from home. Sometimes, family obligations may interfere, especially if your kids are at home during the day. In addition, some client deadlines may require extra hours.
It’s best if a remote worker is able to set some work hours and stick to them. After the work day is done he or she should try as best as possible to leave the work at the office and just enjoy the rest of the day. Every person will need to recharge his/her batteries so he or she can be as productive as possible.
2. Go ahead and plan and structure the workday. By structuring your workday you are able to maximize efficiency. You have the advantage that you can plan your work day around the hours you are most productive, so if you’re a person that is able to focus best in the morning, steer clear of checking your email until 10-11 a.m. or later. By quickly reviewing your calendar when you start work in the morning you will benefit from a productive workday.
Also, you should create a list comprised of the most important tasks before you move on to the less urgent ones. If possible, close your office door to let anyone know you are working and you don’t want to be disturbed.
3. Dress as you would for the office. As tempting as it is to stay in your pajamas all day long, this is not really the best habit. At a psychological level, the way you dress affects you. Usually, a person will feel more confident after taking a shower, having breakfast, brushing his/her teeth and dressing accordingly. Instead of adopting a sloppy wardrobe it’s better if you maintain a casual one to help you with the transition from office to home.
4. Create a designated work area. When working from home you must not forget that all-important aspect: consistency. Try as best as possible to work at the same spot day in day out. Whether it’s the extra bedroom in your house, in the living room or at the dining room table, make sure the workspace will efficiently function for both you and your business. Also, you should probably surround yourself with things that make you happy or inspire you like music, pictures or even flowers. The workspace should be a place you enjoy being on a daily basis and where you can focus on doing your best work.
5. Don’t forget to take breaks. Throughout the day make sure to have frequent breaks. Get up from your desk, stretch a bit and walk around the house for a few minutes. Take a lunch break and allow your brain to rest.
You should also consider a little bit of socializing so why not schedule a lunch with friends or clients. Or, if fitness is one of the most enjoyable things to you, maybe you can hit the gym or go for a walk.
6. Last but not least, avoid distractions at all cost. In my opinion, being distracted is the main challenge when a person is working from home. Having no colleagues or even partners nearby, it’s easier to become distracted. There will always be a few errands to run or chores at home to do. Make sure to postpone household tasks such as washing the dishes or doing laundry until you go “home” for the evening.
In order to remain productive throughout the day you need to stay focus. Moreover, avoid online distractions. Don’t spend a lot of time reading your emails, checking your social media accounts or just browsing through WebPages unrelated to work.
If necessary, you could even set a time on your computer or your phone. Don’t go wasting both time and money on meetings and activities that are counterproductive to your success.