Guest Post by Dixie Somers
According to statistics collected by Global Workplace Analytics, nearly a quarter of the workforce telecommutes to some degree, and between 80 to 90% of the workforce reports that they would prefer to work from home just two to three days out of the week.
Surveys examining telecommuters have shown that working from home can boost worker efficiency and morale, but at the same time, it also comes with its own set of potential pitfalls. Working from home can make it difficult for some to concentrate fully on their tasks, but these pointers can make it easier to remain focused as long as there’s work to be done.
Keep a schedule
Working from home for days on end can occasionally make it seem as though the hours are all blending into each other, so making an effort to keep up a sense of timeliness and urgency is essential. Simply keeping a list of things to do on hand at all times, with specific cutoff times for when they need to be done, can make a world of difference in productivity. You can set up alerts at various times of the day to help you with this system.
Cut out all distractions
One of the biggest pitfalls of working from home can be all of the various things that can steal your attention away from work. Make sure that all of the noise-making distractions in the home, like the television and radio, are out of sight and out of mind. Being too liberal in having different forms of media active while you’re working can be devastating to focus in the long term and lead to careless mistakes.
Get a good night’s sleep
Getting a restful night of sleep is just as vital for being productive at home as it is for those who work in a conventional office setting. Being lethargic and tired at home can make it very tempting to take an extended break on the couch that lasts far longer than it should. Making sure that you always have the perfect amount of energy to stay on-task and ready to work, physically and mentally, will keep you from falling prey to the temptation of taking a nap that causes a missed deadline. If anything is causing you to lose sleep, ensure you take time to fix it so you can get the vital rest you need. If you need a softer mattress, for example, visit a store like Dreamland to get one that suits you better.
Set up a clear office space
When working from home, separating your professional tasks from your main place of relaxation is essential. Not only can the bedroom be full of distractions, but if you work in the bedroom for many hours at a time, it will be far more difficult to relax and get a full night’s sleep when the workday is over. Set yourself up an office that has an environment that is comfortable and conducive to work, a door that can be closed so that family members and pets can know not to bother you, and all the equipment you need to work with throughout the day.
Working from home can be a fulfilling and convenient way to get the job done, but in order to make working at home a productive experience, you must take steps to eliminate distractions and maintain self-control.
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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