While working from home appeals to many people because of the freedom and flexibility, it does have constraints and requirement for success. This is especially true if you’re telecommuting. Here are 10 do’s and don’ts of working from home:
Create an organized workspace separate from the rest of your home to help minimize distractions. Use to-do lists, calendars, and filing systems to keep yourself organized.
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day for lunch and exercise. These breaks will help you focus more on your work.
Make sure to be in constant communication with your boss and coworkers. If you have a scheduling conflict or cannot meet a deadline, inform your boss in advance and make arrangements to ensure your tasks are completed.
Set office hours and give yourself a specific time to work. It can be based on a schedule that works for you. Having a specific work time can ensure you don’t spend too much (or too little) time working and can avoid spending your evenings checking emails.
Have a social life! It’s easy to get caught up in your work at home. Be sure to get out of the house on the weekends at a very minimum to enjoy the things you love outside of work.
Create boundaries for your family while you’re working. Let them know, despite being at home for work, you must limit the distractions you have throughout the day.
Use apps to help you stay organized. Tools such as Google Docs can help you keep track of important documents and stay on top of your to-do lists.
Get ready for the day. Even if you decide to get showered and dressed at noon, make sure you change out of your pajamas and into appropriate clothing. You never know when you’ll have a surprise video conference call or interview.
Have a backup plan. There will be some days where working from home becomes impossible. Whether it’s a faulty Internet connection or some other interference, have a backup workplace in mind, like a library or a coffee shop.
Try to work during normal business hours. This makes it easier to work with clients, your coworkers, and your supervisor.
Send tweets about going shopping or watching movies when you’re supposed to be working. Your boss will see you aren’t at work.
Handle household chores during work hours. It will become extremely distracting and it will take twice as long to complete your work.
Take personal calls while working. If you do have to make a call, ask your supervisor if it’s okay for you to break away for a few minutes.
Bring your work into an area where you could be distracted by friends or family.
Become disorganized. Be sure to create an office space that allows you to keep all your work in a neat and organized place.
Let your work day slip away. It’s important to create a routine you can stick to and a schedule that allows you be productive.
Allow your email to become a distraction. While it’s important to check your email throughout the day, be sure to dedicate a block of time to checking your email rather than having it constantly open.
Procrastinate. Even if you have a project that isn’t due for another week, make sure you aren’t waiting until last minute to meet your deadlines.
Compromise your passions. Make sure you choose a rewarding career that satisfies your career goals and needs.
Choose a job that doesn’t allow room for growth. No matter where you are working, choose a position where you can continue to advance your career.
By following these tips, you will be more productive when working from home. Even if you only telecommute once a week, these tips will help you work more efficiently and accomplish more tasks. Although the ability to work from home has many perks, it also requires more self-discipline and motivation than working in an office environment.
Do you work from home? What other tips do you have for people who telecommute? Feel free to post your comment below
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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