Working from home can be really great. There is no wasted time sitting in traffic to and from work and sitting in an office that distracts you or is a demotivating environment. You decide on the dress code and nobody is there to judge you for wearing pyjama pants or the same jeans three days in a row.
Working from home has many benefits but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. It can be difficult to put distance between your work life and your personal life. If you’re going to operate from home, you have to set up boundaries. Here are seven tips to ensure you remain productive while working from home.
- Have a designated work space
If you are lucky enough to have an extra room, revamp this space into an office area. You will be able to work remotely and be separated from the rest of the house and any distractions. Take some time to furnish the office space to suit your office needs. Adding floor-length curtains, a durable office desk, storage space and stationery will make the work easier. Make sure you have a strong wifi connection from the office room and that you have a telephone line installed. If you don’t have an extra room to turn into an office, then adding a desk to your bedroom or lounge area will do the trick. Just make sure that you set up the space so there are few distractions and you can achieve maximum productivity.
- Create a routine
When you work in an office you have a certain routine. It is important that you implement a similar routine when working from home. Create a log sheet and plan your time. If you need an hour in the mornings to reply to emails before starting work, then set time aside for this. While you might not have anyone to answer to, sticking to a routine will keep you focused and productive. Be strict on yourself when it comes to time-management. Logging between seven to eight hours should be your minimum working hours. If you are finding it very difficult to take breaks from home, then add break time into your log sheet. This will include tea breaks and an hour lunch break. It is important that you get into a routine of also giving your mind a few minutes to wind-down.
- Detach from your personal life
If you decide to work from home, you are going to want to set up friendship boundaries from the get-go. Your friends need to know that they cannot pop in at all times. If they want to pop in, it is going to have to be during your set lunch hour. If you have any personal chores such as grocery shopping or buying a dress for the party you have on the weekend, make an effort to do it during your break or after work time.
- Limit distractions
Working from home means that there are going to be distractions all over your home. From your TV set to the pool. And there’s no one there to make sure you’re actually working. This means you need to have a lot of self-discipline. Again, this is why it is vital that you create a time-logging sheet which will show exactly how your day is planned out.
- Switch social media off
Unless your job includes social media management or it includes online monitoring, you are going to want to limit yourself to the amount of social media you consume daily. Social media can be a big distraction and can lead to you getting side tracked and losing focus ,unable get back to the task at hand. Allow yourself fifteen minutes before work to check your social and news platforms. Then log out of everything to avoid getting notifications. After-work you can log back in and upload the new health food you had for lunch to Instagram.
- Get the proper business administration
If you are operating your business from home, you will probably need proper tax registration and business permits. It is important that you operate legally. Do all the research necessary to find out what is needed from your business. If you are found to be running a business from home illegally, you will be heavily fined. So do the right thing.
- Stay connected
Working from home means that you might not be surrounded by people. To prevent becoming completely anti-social, use the opportunity to meet clients for lunch instead of back-and-forth emails. You can also stay connected to people in your industry through LinkedIn. If you find that you have become a workaholic and find switching off difficult, set a weekly lunch date with your friends. This will ensure you get outdoors and are still social and connected to the outside world.