In recent years, there has been a significant increase in home-based workers among the self-employed as well as telecommuting employees who work for traditional businesses.
Whether you work for yourself or for an established employer, you are likely to face obstacles in adapting to working in a home-based environment. Here are a few tips that will help you work more effectively from home:
- Setting up a functional workspace is critical to your success. Set up your space so that it contains all of the necessary equipment for office work. Don’t short-change your home office’s setup. Whenever possible, replicate the same technologies at your home office that you have in your traditional space at work. It’s remarkable how something as simple as the having the same keyboard and mouse at home that you have at your traditional office gets you in the proper mindset for productivity. Remote application and file access can be helpful in accomplishing your day-to-day job responsibilities from afar as well. Lastly, investing in softphones via VoIP will allow you to make and take calls just like you’re in the office.
- Establishing a working schedule is also important. Having regularly-scheduled hours when you work from home will help you to be more efficient during these times. A common misconception of telecommuting is that staff is less productive or apt to be less engaged. However, I’ve found one of the pitfalls facing home workers is working too many hours. Know exactly when you work day begins as well as ends. Treat it just as you would traveling to your office on any other given workday.
- Being able to motivate yourself is critical for the work at home employee. In a traditional office environment, you have management and co-workers who motivate you to complete your work. When you are working at home, you only have yourself to push you to succeed. Set goals for your workday and take time to review if you’re on-track or off-track with the tasks you need to accomplish.
- Maintaining a professional attitude is also important. If you have frequent client interactions, be mindful that all communication must be conducted in a professional way. A home office may be an informal environment that affords you the luxury of dressing casually, but client interactions should always follow certain decorum. Keeping your interactions businesslike will ensure the client does not begin to doubt the amount or quality of work that is being put into their projects.
- Consider hiring a day care provider is another tip for working from home. Those who have young children may find it difficult to attend to the needs of their children while fulfilling their job obligations. For this reason, it may be worthwhile to have a day care provider care for your child during your working hours.
- Avoid volunteering for too many activities. Many people will assume because you work at home you are free to help them run errands, pick up their children from school or be an emergency babysitter. While you may occasionally use your flexibility to help friends and family members, it’s important to make clear that boundaries still exist on how much you can stray from your responsibilities of work, even when you’re working from home.
The important thing to remember is your home-based job deserves the same attention and dedication as an office position (in some ways, maybe more). Following these tips will help you to become a more productive home-based worker.
Interested in setting up a home-based work environment? Please complete the form on this page, and one of our team members will be in touch with you shortly to discuss how best to get started!