The professional landscape is constantly changing, and more people are working from home than ever before.
If you’re thinking about setting up your own home office, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Read on for a list of five career tips that will help you discover the best way to work from home for productive work life and a successful career.
1. Set up Your Home Office
In order to work from home successfully, you’ll need to start by designating an office space. If you have the room, a spare bedroom, or a room toward the back of the house where it’s quiet is ideal.
You don’t need to have a massive place to create a home office. Place a small desk and chair in the corner of your living room or kitchen, and use this area for working only.
It’s important to make sure that your workspace is as quiet as possible so you can focus. Don’t skimp on the furniture, either. A supportive chair and a nice desk with storage are crucial to create a viable home office design.
2. Stick to a Schedule
If you’re used to punching a time clock or sitting in traffic, developing a set schedule while working from home can be a challenge. It’s vital that you set a schedule and do your best to stick to it every single day.
Set your alarm to wake up at the same time every day to keep on schedule. A calendar with a timeline listing all of your daily tasks can be extremely helpful, too.
If you don’t stick to a set schedule, it’s easy to fall behind on your work. Try to think of working from home as the same thing as going into the office, except you don’t need to get in your car or take the bus to get there. Over time, you’ll develop a good rhythm that will help you stay on task and on top of deadlines.
3. Avoid Distractions While Working From Home
Without a boss constantly lurking over your shoulder, it can be quite easy to get distracted by things like social media, videos, and more. The best way to stay on top of your work is to try and avoid as many distractions as possible. Getting sucked into a video or checking on peoples’ Facebook statuses can zap your productivity.
Close all of your tabs on your computer except for work-related pages and software. If you need help, there are lots of great software options that can help you remain on task during the workday and keep those distractions at bay.
Turn off your smartphone notifications, and turn your ringer off unless you’re expecting a business phone call from work. All of these things create distractions that can make it extremely difficult to get back on track. Turn off your TV and set timers so you can take the occasional break without getting derailed.
4. Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance
One of the most important tips for working from home is to keep the balance between your work and personal life in check. When you work in the same place you live, it can become difficult to separate these two things in your mind. Don’t forget to practice self-care by taking brief walks or carving out time for lunch every day.
Try to set up your office in a separate room so that it doesn’t just become part of the rest of your home. Only go to that room when it’s time to work and enjoy the rest of your home as you normally would the rest of the time.
You should always set boundaries for yourself and your bosses when you’re working from home. Make it clear that you’re only available during normal working hours, and don’t answer emails or texts outside of those times. With the right work-life balance, you’ll feel fulfilled and happy while staying productive.
5. Keep Communication Open
Understandably, a lot of companies are concerned about allowing their employees to work from home. The temptation to sleep in, slack off, and “play hooky” can be great when there’s no one there to check on the status or progress of employees.
In order to maintain the trust you have between yourself, your boss, and your coworkers, it’s crucial that everyone keeps the lines of communication open. A virtual chat program or remote meeting software are both excellent ways to make sure that everyone is held accountable.
Let your supervisor know that you’re available to help during work hours and that you’ll do your best to respond to inquiries and emails as fast as you can. If you have concerns or you need help, reach out to your superiors and ask for help. With constant communication, your boss will feel better about letting you work from home and you will, too.
Make Working at Your Home Work for You
With a set schedule and some simple tips, working from home can a really fulfilling experience. Just make sure that you’re avoiding as many distractions as possible and keeping the lines of communication open with your company.
Set up a quiet place in your home to work and bring in comfortable, functional furniture to help you stay on task. Follow the same schedule every day, and you’ll be able to reap the many benefits that working from home provides.