Do you work from home?
From companies offering work-from-home arrangements to owning your own business, a growing number of Americans are working from home.
Studies show that Both Employers and Employees Benefit from working at home.
One of the top reasons employees want to work from home is to avoid commuting. That’s not surprising considering the amount of time you would save NOT sitting in Lake Travis area traffic.
But be careful not to lose track of your boundaries. Having the freedom to run errands or do projects around your home is very tempting. How do you make working from home a success for your business and career?
Here are 4 quick tips to help you stay productive in the home office.
Don’t go to work in your pajamas
You may be tempted to grab an extra 30 minutes of sleep and roll into the home office in your pajamas. And you might be a very productive person in pajamas and slippers. Instead, have breakfast, have a shower, get dressed. Then make a list of sensible tasks for the day and get started.
Most people find their level of productivity and sense of accomplishment go way up when they show up dressed up. You won’t lose time getting ready in the middle of the day when you get a call for a last minute appointment. And you’ll look presentable if you grab some lunch with a friend, or make a quick trip to the grocery store.
Close the office door
Having a dedicated home office with a door that closes will help cut down on outside distractions and give you the sense of truly being at work in the office.
An open door office can cut down on your productivity, especially if you have small children at home all day. Make a rule that when your office door is closed, it’s work time.
Get creative and set aside 15 to 30 minutes to spend with your children as part of your work day. It might be just the thing your little ones need to prevent them from hanging outside your office door crying during a conference call.
Punch-in and punch-out
Set regular hours and stick to your schedule. Work with an accountability partner that will motivate you to get to the office on time. Start your day at 8am. Take a lunch and have plenty of short breaks to give your mind a rest. Finish at 5pm.
These hours might not work for everyone, but the key is to have hours just like you would if you were showing up at an office.
Get out of the office
Working from home can get lonely. You might be able to shack up like a hermit inside your home office for days and crank out task after task. But if you’re the kind of person that gets energy from being around other people, 2 or 3 days without any adult interaction can get downright depressing.
Try scheduling lunch or a morning coffee 2 or 3 times a week with friends or other business acquaintances in the area. Having that adult interaction might be the boost in energy you need to keep sane and make it through the week!
How about you?
What are some things you do to stay productive while working from home? Join the conversation in the comments on Facebook.
Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on May 5, 2014.