The Best Tips for Working from Home

Working from home is the dream for many office workers, but it isn’t always what it seems. Working from that home office brings a variety of new challenges with it. Overcoming these challenges is important to maintain the new at home status. Follow these tips from people successful at working from home to make sure you never see the inside of a permanent office again.

1Continue the Commute

This seems silly, but consider what happened during that morning commute. You were able to think about your day and spend some time inside your own head. Taking away this part of the day might actually be harmful. Take some time before and after work to switch from home life to work. Go for a walk and think about your tasks for the day, then go back outside at the end of the day to unwind. This transition period is essential in separating work from home and vice versa.

2Get That Office

The images of people working poolside from home just aren’t realistic. You need a dedicated office area for your work. This will tell your brain that it’s time to work and allow your psyche to switch to work mode. This is part of switching from home to work; stepping into that dedicated space is symbolic of stepping into work.

3Maintain Your Relationships

If you start working for days without seeing another human being, make sure you change that. You need to maintain friendships and other relationships to balance yourself. No one survives on work alone. Make sure to get out at least once a week with some friends or other social group, such as a book club or local church. This also includes work-based relationships whether it’s networking, sub-contractors, or those who hire you. By keeping in touch and building these relationships, you will gain new and diverse work opportunities.

4Manage Distractions

One of the biggest surprises for first-time stay at home workers is the number of distractions. Remember that you are still in your home, and you might think it’s only a minute spent changing the laundry or washing the dishes. Avoid this temptation. Reduce other distractions by sending the kids to a sitter, taking care of pets outside work hours, and ignoring the doorbell if it rings. This will help you maintain your productivity.

5Maintain Strict Hours

The bane of working from home are the people who think you are now free to do whatever you want during the day. Make it clear that you still have work hours, and you are not free during these hours. Be strict. Do not answer personal calls during this time, and do not answer the door. This will help people learn that you will be devoted to work. If a person would not walk into an office downtown, then he or she must be expected to not walk into your home office.

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Lucy Wyndham spent over a decade in finance as an advisor, but on starting a family, she decided to take a step back and pursue her love of writing and sharing ideas.