Many people are choosing to work from home. It saves them money and has been shown to make workers happier. The work-from-home culture has been facilitated by tools that enable one to check in with team mates.
There are however, challenges in working at home. These include distractions by domestic duties and children, besides having a friend drop in unexpectedly. Experts have developed pointers on how to work at home efficiently.
Know what needs to be done and ensure you do it. One needs to develop a list of what needs to be done in a day and ensure that the tasks are completed. Interruptions do not matter if the chores are completed.
Dress as if you are gong to work. A regular routine of showering and dressing as if one is going to office helps. The preparations create an office atmosphere at home and remind you that you are working even as you sit on your sofa.
Keep friends away. It is advisable to use lunch time or weekends to meet with friends. Those who show up at your home unexpectedly should be told that you are working. It is important to have rules and to enforce them.
Create a stoplight for family members. Tape a sign to the workplace door to show when you can or cannot be disturbed.
Create a comfortable office. It is important to have a comfortable work place. Investing in a comfortable desk chair will make one more inclined to work. Other incentives could be a sofa, a bookshelf or a rug.
Store the work in a cloud. Vital documents need to be uploaded to a cloud storage server e.g. DropBox or Google Drive. This facilitates working from anywhere without fretting whether you have the necessary files or not.
Establish your working hours. Tape your working time schedule on the door to your home office and stick to them. Voicemail can be used to indicate hours of operation and to refer personal calls to your residence phone.
Pretend to be away from home. Ignore the home phone or the door bell during working hours to maintain focus.
Keep out of the kitchen. Discipline is needed to avoid frequent visits to the fridge in order to do what needs to get done. This is similar to the discipline needed to keep away your drop-in pals.
Never go to personal appointments in the middle of the day. Doctor and dentist appointments should be first thing in the morning or at the end of the day to avoid work disruptions.
Get time to meet with co-workers face-to-face. It is advisable to meet and engage with team mates to discuss ideas. In-person time with colleagues produces more than you can get from conference calls or video calls.
Go out of the house. Some prefer working out of coffee shops. Leaving the house helps to separate work time and personal time.
Enjoy distractions. Some people work at home to be their own bosses. It is good to live life and see people who drop by unless of course you have a deadline to meet. Unscheduled breaks can make you work better.
Enjoy flexibility. When your focus starts wavering enjoy bike riding, swimming or even quit for a day. Time away from work can boost your creative juices.
Check in with colleagues and the boss regularly. This helps to let people at the office know that you are working and not shopping or watching TV. You could also keep your webcam on to show co-workers you are at your desk working all day.