In recent years there has been a tremendous increase in home-based workers, among the self-employed as well as telecommuting employees who work for traditional businesses. At Techvera, we've implemented remote and flexible work options, and it's been important to ensure our remote workers are supported and effective.
Whether you work for yourself or an established employer, you are likely to face obstacles in adapting to working in a home-based environment. Here are a few tips that might help you to work more effectively from home:
SET UP A FUNCTIONAL WORKSPACE
Try setting up your space so that it contains all of the necessary equipment that you need. You may decorate your workspace so that it is aesthetically appealing but try to keep distractions to a minimum.
It can be easy to let messiness overtake your space when no one else is around to judge you! Staying organized and taking a few minutes at the end of each day to tidy up is important. Messy surroundings lead to more stress and less productivity.
ESTABLISH A WORKING SCHEDULE
Having regularly scheduled hours when you work will help you to be more efficient during these times. Be sure to schedule work time as well as break times so that you will not become overwhelmed.
One of the pitfalls that some home workers fall into is working too many hours. In an office there is a clear end of the day as other employees start to leave the office for the day, but at home employees sometimes have difficulty ending their day. Maintain a proper work and life balance to avoid burnout and stress.
FIGURE OUT WHAT MOTIVATES YOU
In an office situation, you have a supervisor and co-workers who motivate you to complete your work but when you are working at home, you only have yourself to push you to succeed.
It can be easy to do the bare minimum or take longer than scheduled breaks when no one is watching. Especially if you're self-employed, finding motivation can seem impossible some days.
Some motivational strategies to try here:
- If you're able to, vary your tasks so that you aren't bored doing eight hours of the same thing.
- Create to-do lists so that you're not stuck figuring out what to do next.
- Tackle the work you're least looking forward to early in the day to get it out of the way and make the rest of the workday seem simple.
- Remind yourself why you're doing this work in the first place, and visualize successful outcomes.
- Set up a reward system for when you complete to-do's.
- Take breaks to avoid burning out.
- Find ways to make your work fun - personal challenges, rewards, competitions with coworkers, music, and whatever else that you find makes things more enjoyable.
MAINTAIN A PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE
If you have frequent client interactions, be careful to answer the phone or respond to their emails 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 that the client does not begin to doubt the amount or quality of work that is being put into their projects.
CONSIDER CHILD CARE IF NEEDED
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.
Working from home is a wonderful way to allow more time with your family. But you may find yourself becoming frustrated with them and less productive if you're constantly interrupted, which isn't good for anyone!
If daycare is a bit out of your price range, see if there are any childcare co-ops near you. Parents will take turns watching the group's children for a day or two per week and this is often inexpensive or free.
AVOID VOLUNTEERING FOR TOO MANY ACTIVITIES
Many people will assume that because you work at home you are free to help them run errands, pick up their children from school, or be an emergency dog-sitter.
While you may want to help your friends and family members, it’s important to make it clear that your work is just as important as theirs and that you have obligations to take care of each day.
The important thing to remember is that your home-based job deserves the same attention and dedication as an office position. Following these tips will help you to become a happy and productive home-based worker.