Working from home sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? No more cramped cubicles, crappy commutes, or uncomfortable office attire. You can clock in and out as you please. And you no longer have to put up with that weird guy in accounting and his rancid-smelling lunches. Yup, you can make your own hours, stay in your comfiest pyjamas, and the only odors you need to withstand are your own. You work from home and life is good.
Or is it? Telecommuting is not all sunshine, lollipops, and bunny slippers. In fact, working from home poses a unique set of problems of its very own. But, thankfully, there is a way to work around them.
Yes, if living the dream has turned out to be a nightmare, here are a few ways to improve your “working from home” experience.
If you have set up shop on your kitchen table, you may be having difficulties differentiating between your work life and your personal life. As a result, you may find it hard to remain focussed on your work tasks. Plus, you must be getting tired of dropping crumbs in your keyboard.
Ideally, when you are in your work space, you should feel that you have left your home space behind–even though you are still, in fact, in your house.
Plus, as an added bonus, setting aside a place that is exclusively for work will also provide you with financial rewards. According to Forbes‘ “10 Tips for Working from Home,” you should be able to write off home office outlays if you use the area “for work only and on a regular, or constant basis, either as your primary place of business or a setting to meet with clients or to do paperwork.”
Begin each day with a plan of attack–a “to do” list to keep you on track. In fact, don’t limit yourself to just one list. Start with a list of the things that you must complete today. Once you have ticked off the items on this list, move on to a list of the items that need to get done over the next few days. And, if you get those items complete–give yourself a big high five–and move on to the list of items that need to be done eventually. By keeping these lists of tasks in clear sight, you will be spurred on to greater productivity and stick-to-itiveness.
You are not a robot. Extended periods of sitting are not healthy. Nor is staring at a computer screen for hours on end. In order to safeguard your health and keep your mind motivated, you need to take frequent breaks. As “Tips on Improving Your Productivity While Working from Home” offers, breaks are “highly effective at increasing an employee’s mental and physical well-being, leaving them happier, more focussed, and more productive.” Go outside, move around, and get that blood pumping.
One of the major drawbacks of telecommuting is the tendency to adopt a hermit-like lifestyle. It is important for your sanity to ensure that you incorporate human interaction into your day. Business Insider‘s “10 Tips for Working Effectively at Home,” recommends heading to a coffee shop or the library and working there as “sometimes just having other people around can help you get more done.”
Schedule a lunch or two with friends or colleagues once a week. And, when your workday is over, close the office door and don’t give business another thought. Family time is solely for you and your family.
Yes, working from home can be a wonderful thing providing that you set yourself up for success. So carve out your own workspace, lists those chores, take frequent breaks, and join the human race from time-to-time. And turn your telecommuting nightmare into a pleasant dream come true.
How do you stay productive while working from home?
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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