Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular work arrangement. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly half of all U.S. workers now telecommute or work remotely on a regular basis. Working from home can be a wonderful thing, especially if you struggle to balance your workload with the demands of your personal life. But it’s not without its challenges. For many people, working from home can feel isolating and create additional pressures to perform well and meet deadlines. To mitigate those risks, here are 10 tips for working from home successfully:
Go to a coffee shop
Working from home can be a fantastic way to earn a living, but it can also be a recipe for loneliness, stress and a lack of productivity. If you’re craving human interaction, but working from home too much, try going to a coffee shop to work. You’ll have the benefits of quiet and solitude while also having access to the lively buzz of human interaction. If you can, try to go to a coffee shop that isn’t frequented by people who just want to go home after work. Instead, seek out the type of coffee shop where people come to work or study — you’ll get the human interaction you crave without ending up being antisocial.
Come up with a routine
Working from home means you don’t have a strict schedule imposed on you by your employer. That can be a great thing, but it can also be dangerous. Without anyone to tell you to get to work and when to break, it can be easy to lose track of time while doing other things. If you find yourself drifting off and wasting time, try to come up with a routine that’s similar to what you might experience at a normal office. For example, you might decide to get up at a specific time each morning and start work. During your working hours, you can focus on your work without the distraction of normal household activities. After your working hours are done, you can switch to household chores and other activities that don’t require you to be focused on your work.
Have strict work hours
Just like an office, you’ll want to have strict work hours at home. Having strict work hours at home, however, doesn’t mean you can’t do work outside of those hours, it just means you have to stop working at a certain time each day. If you have strict work hours, you’ll never be tempted to work outside of your work hours. When it’s time to stop, you can stop and you won’t have to worry about whether you’re wasting time on other things. You can create a schedule that’s similar to what you’d experience in an office. For example, you can work at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. You can also have time off on weekends and holidays.
Set office-like rules
When working from home, you’ll want to set some rules similar to what you’d experience in an office. For example, you might want to establish a rule about when you can and can’t communicate with other people. If your work requires you to communicate with other people, you might want to establish a rule about not communicating outside of work hours. That way, communication can be directed to relevant people at specific times. When you communicate with people outside of work hours, you might want to put them on a Do Not Disturb list. That way, you can focus on your work without interruption.
Establish communication rituals
Every office has its own communication rituals, and you can do the same while working from home. If you work in a specific industry, you might want to adopt communication rituals that are common in that industry. For example, if you work in the financial industry, you might want to adopt communication rituals that are common in that industry. If you work in a team, you might need to keep communication to a minimum. That might seem odd when you’re working from home, but if you have a team of people in an office, they might need to collaborate and discuss things without outside interference. You can adopt the same rules when working from home. You might want to use tools like Slack to keep communication to a minimum.
Make sure you have the equipment you need
When you work from home, you might not have access to the same equipment you’d experience in an office. To make sure you have everything you need to work, you’ll want to create a list of the equipment you need to do your job. When you’re creating that list, you can think about what kind of equipment you’d need to perform your job effectively. You can then research the best options for each piece of equipment. For example, if you work remotely as a writer, you might need a laptop, a word processor and a quiet place to work. You might also want to work in a room where you can close the door.
Don’t isolation yourself too much
Working from home can be wonderful, but you need to make sure you don’t cut yourself off from the world too much. When working from home, you should try to keep yourself socially engaged. You can do that by making sure you have a few social engagements each week. You can also use technology to help you stay in touch with people while working from home. You can use video conferencing to stay in touch with people. If you have the ability to do so, you might want to video conference with people who work in other offices. That can be a great way to keep in touch with coworkers without feeling like you’ve isolated yourself from the world.
Make working from home a benefit for your employer
If you work from home, you might feel like that’s a source of weakness. If you feel like you’re a liability to your employer, you might start to feel like you’re more expendable. You can feel more confident and be more valuable to your employer if you make working from home a benefit. If you have the ability to work from home, you can make sure you take full advantage of that ability. For example, you can make sure you finish your work on time and that you’re meeting your deadlines. You can also make sure you’re communicating with your employer as often as possible. You want your employer to know that working from home isn’t a weakness — it’s a strength. That way, you can feel confident in your ability to perform well and remain employed.
Working from home can be wonderful, but it can also be challenging at times. If you want to work from home, you’ll want to do everything you can to make that work arrangement successful. If you follow these tips, you’ll give yourself the best chance of succeeding while working from home.