Working at home sounds like the ideal mix of professional and personal life to more and more people. Although it allows workers to attend to family matters more easily by having a flexible schedule, successful telecommuting requires employees to stay focused so that working from home will be the positive experience it should be.
The aim of staffing companies like Mom Corps is to find experienced professionals who can work flexible hours without sacrificing productivity. When that entails working at home, the parameters of that lifestyle should be set in advance.
Get out of your pajamas
To avoid lapsing into unproductive habits that can put a crimp in your best efforts, it helps to view yourself as the same professional you’d be at your company’s headquarters. While you don’t have to don office wear, it helps to get dressed in an outfit that’s presentable enough if you need to go on errands or meet a client for coffee.
How you dress during the day will also affect your outlook. You’ll feel refreshed and confident if you’re dressed to take on a work day.
“Have a set time, wake up, shower, and get dressed just as you would if you were commuting to a professional office space and you will be more productive,” Grant Cardone, author of “If You’re Not First, You’re Last,” told Fox Business News.
An office at home, not a home office
Set up a workplace in your home that’s viewed as more than a home office, which is typically where people browse online and pay their bills. Even if it’s shared space in your finished basement, section off your area and make it clear to your family that this is where you work.
It helps to set a work schedule, but the beauty of working at home is that you can split your work schedule into segments. That gives you the flexibility to pick up your children from school or spend time with them in the afternoon and put in additional work hours in the evening. Again, the family – and any friends who may call you – need to know what your work hours are to avoid interruptions.
By setting a schedule that works for employees and their companies, a message is sent to businesses that flexible staffing can be a benefit to both.
A to-do list will help keep the most dedicated procrastinator on target. Knowing you have to meet daily deadlines or make a certain amount of headway on a long-term project will get you to finish these tasks more easily. Break down projects into several steps so there’s a feeling of satisfaction as you make progress toward reaching the endpoint.
In addition, schedule your work time according to your natural period of productivity. If you’ve always been an early riser, don’t waste your best hours on a second or third cup of coffee. Clock some work hours before a mid-morning break. Those who need time to settle in may find afternoon and evening hours are more productive. However, late starters should always be working ahead in case they have to check in with the boss or colleagues in the morning to show what they’ve accomplished.
Breaks are allowed
In fact, breaks are recommended by Business Insider. People need to stretch, rest their eyes so they don’t become strained by constant computer time and let their minds wander a bit. It’s the proverbial coffee break, but home-style.
While break time may be an excellent time to throw in a load of laundry or wash the dishes, don’t let household chores intrude on your work hours. Multitasking can be very distracting if it takes you off-topic when you’re trying to finish a project.