Do run a home-based business? Does your boss let you work from a home office? Whether or not you are the boss or just telecommuting for your regular gig, working from home has proven beneficial for staff morale and a company’s bottom line. That’s not to say everyone should work from home as many businesses stand behind a corporate culture and sense of team building that can only happen when everyone is present in the office. In any case, working from home can be accomplished despite the distractions of everyday life. Here are some tips to help you stay focused and productive while working from home.
- One of the biggest motivators, of course, is your paycheck. If you are not the business owner, making sure you stay productive and meeting targets is a big chunk of staying focused. If you can’t stay focused at home you’d risk losing your job...and that’s not good.
- Get dressed. Working in your robe and slippers is, well, lazy. Do you need to be in a 3-piece suit or pencil skirt? No. However, being business casual even at home is a good idea and promotes a sense of professionalism and routine, even if it’s just you! A shower is a good idea too.
- If you have the space at home, create a ‘real’ office. A comfy couch is enticing, but again, does nothing to promote that sense of professionalism. Putting your feet up on the coffee table may not be great for your body long term anyway. Having a ‘business’ space will make you more motivated and productive. Invest in a good ergonomic chair.
- Keep regular working hours so you’re not distracted from your business deadlines. Don’t take personal calls or let friends drop in for a visit. This simply comes down to keeping yourself scheduled. This also means not scheduling personal appointments during business hours. Do like you would at any office...after hours if possible. This isn’t to say don’t take breaks, even at the office this needs to happen, so schedule some in at home too.
- Keep regular meal times. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Having your own kitchen available all day means you might be persuaded to constantly snack. It’s a distraction and can eat up valuable time...pun intended. If you have to snack, have a lot of good quality food at your disposal. High sugar and carbs can make you sleepy and your couch is readily available, just saying.
- Avoid chores. Yes, your sink might be full of dirty dishes and your laundry needs folding, but those can wait. Getting stuff done around the house is very tempting while you’re there, however, those things need to be done as if you were heading into the office, in the morning or after hours.
- For some, one of the downsides of a home-based business is the compelling feeling of working all the time. When the day is done, turn off the computer and perhaps mute the cell phone. You’re done. Also, make sure your weekends don’t become your 6th and 7th day work week...sure we all work the odd weekend, but try to limit it. Weekends are for you.