In this day-in-age, more and more professionals are switching from the office cubicle to their home office. More often than not, people who work from home are freelancers or consultants. Even we here at Trademark Productions have had to work from home during major winter blizzards. But are the benefits of working from home hindering your ability to get work done efficiently? As you read on, I’ll provide some tips to help all of our work-from-home friends to become more productive while working there.
First, you want to make sure you manage your time properly so you don’t fall behind in your daily tasks. Friends and family respect your work schedule when you work out of an office, but once you start working from home, you’ll start to notice the 1:00 p.m. phone call from friends starts to become more popular. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t answer the phone or even wait around the house for the plumber to show up. You just need to make sure you manage this time properly so you can get all the work done that is expected from you on a given day.
Next, try to assign yourself some strict deadlines. Many people work better under strict timelines and most people associate this productivity to working well under pressure. Other professionals believe this phenomenon is related to Parkinson’s Law, which basically means people will have to expand tasks to fill the time which the individual is provided. So take this idea and integrate it into your own style of deadline setting.
For people at home, Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only things that gets people distracted from their work. Believe it or not, IMs and emails being exchanged from colleagues throughout the workday contributes to a huge chunk of wasted time. So try to dedicate a couple of hours to turn-off your phone, log out of your Facebook and IM accounts and focus on work. Trust me, the messages and posts will be there when you log back in.
Another good thing is to try and separate your at-home workspace from everything else within the house. Ideally, you should try and get a room with a door to block out all the noise and distractions. This will help you to become a more productive employee and manage your chances of becoming distracted.
If you find yourself burnt out on a particular task, change your work environment. Head to a coffee shop, brainstorm at a local park or go to a place where you can feel calm and relaxed. You’ll be surprised at how productive you’ll be once you change your scenery.
Finally, make sure your breaks are spent well. We all know breaks are important throughout the workday, but for people working at home, try to not always spend your break time being lazy on the couch watching TV. This will not recharge your brain, which is the primary reason to take a break in the first place. Instead, try and take the dog for a walk, go out for an actual lunch or meet a friend for a coffee. Not only will you find yourself in a better mood, you’ll also start to notice that your work itself is improving.
For everyone that works from home, did this mini guide help you? Let us know what types of things you do to make sure you are working productively from home?