Working from home is becoming more and more popular as employers realize that the talent they need might not be living within commuting distance. Plus, with everyone’s lifestyles being so different, offering flexible, work from home opportunities can actually ensure better productivity. It’s important, however, to stick to some non-negotiable rules when you work from home to make sure that you are both professional and productive.
Have A Routine – Go To Work
It can be all too tempting for home working employees to stay in their pajamas all day and roll from bed to workspace without taking the time to really get ready for the day ahead. Although this might be the lure of homeworking for some, it’s better if you act as though you are commuting to an office – get up early, have a shower, have breakfast, get dressed (you can still wear casual clothes, just don’t wear pajamas), even leave the house for a walk around the block and then return, ready for a day of productive working. Make your mind believe that it’s work time, not rest time.
Have A Dedicated Workspace
Create a dedicated workspace within your home, and you’ll feel much more like you’re going to work. You might have room for a study (a spare bedroom works well for this purpose), but if not, find a quiet corner and set up a desk with everything you need. If possible, don’t have this in the same room as where you spend time with your family, or where you sleep – it won’t really feel like work if you do that, and you may not be as productive as you could be elsewhere. Some people even build a shed in the yard with power and light and use that for their homeworking, but you don’t have to go that far.
Leave The House For Meetings
If your work requires you to have face to face meetings with clients, it’s far better to rent out corporate meeting facilities than to invite those clients to your home. It gives them a much more professional view of you and your company (no matter how lovely your home office may be, it’s still a home, and a hired room gives off a much better impression). It also allows you to fully relax and give your presentation without worrying that the house is a mess, that a neighbor might knock, or that the kids might come home from school exactly at the crucial part of your meeting. Equally, if you schedule Skype or Google Hangout (or similar) meetings, check the background behind you before you log on. Will it give a good impression?
Keep In Touch
It’s all too easy to lose touch with colleagues when you work from home. You can get up, get ready, work all day, log off, and never speak to a soul. So keep the communication channels open, as you would in a physical office where everyone is working together. You can’t stop by someone’s desk for a quick chat, but you can have a chat box open so that you can communicate with one another, ask questions, have breaks and engage in office small talk. Or keep in touch via text, email, even phone. No matter what the medium is, keep those channels open, and you’ll have a much more productive day.