Photo via samwebster
Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option for just about every kind of worker, spurred by a combination of widespread broadband connectivity and innovative telecommunication and videoconferencing tools. Essentially, today’s technology can make any space feel like office space, and it can make any distance from a traditional office essentially meaningless.
However, that doesn’t mean that working from home will be identical to a typical, at-the-office kind of occupation. Indeed, there are new challenges and opportunities that must be accepted when the living room becomes the hub of a hard day’s work.
Remember that Working from Home Means More Breaks or Sanity-Increasing Distractions
The typical office might be thought of as a place to get lots of work done in a concentrated setting, but the truth is that these environments are full of distractions. Whether it’s the conversation between a few coworkers just a few feet away, or the sound of incoming phone calls, rapidly-pressed keyboard keys, and other white noise, distractions are probably the most universal thing about a typical office. Conversely, a home work environment is filled with distractions that are mostly optional and mostly beneficial.
Working from home means that conversation with coworkers is replaced by a lunchtime phone call, and the white noise of computers and telephones is replaced with the white noise of having the windows open and hearing nearby traffic.These distractions are the perfect way to turn a home-based job into one which is completely manageable, motivating, and less stressful. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day that use a home’s distractions to great advantage. Things like a snack break (go get some yogurt!) or a brief outing to traverse the sidewalk outdoors for fifteen minutes, will recharge those productivity-demanding batteries and provide a refreshed attitude to finish the next segment of work. An office’s distractions can be a headache, but a home’s distractions can be a real relief.
In the Absence of an Organization, Focus on Organization
Working for the typical corporate organization means that the day’s tasks and materials are relatively well-orded, in place, and organized in a meaningful way. Most office workers don’t have to worry about this, as it’s done by someone after hours or even during the day. This is why offices almost always have secretaries and file clerks. Homes, on the other hand, have neither of these paid positions available. Therefore, the key to successful home-based employment is to employ a strict method of organization and be sure to stick to it day in and day out.
Nothing kills productivity and motivation quite like losing an important file or document; furthermore, nothing hinders organization like log-standing clutter. Be sure that all of the files, information, and electronic devices needed for a home business are well-kept, organized, and easily located. This will keep the day’s work on track and ensure an earlier quitting time free of annoying distractions.
Stick to a Daily Routine and Pretend You’re Going to the Office
Working form home presents the opportunity to lay in bed, keep some pajamas on, and complete a day’s work. No one will ever know, right? Wrong. Your mind and body will know, and they’ll want to sleep in that bed even if it’s 2 p.m. and there’s a big deadline approaching. One of the best tricks to stay motivated and get in the proper frame of mind is to wake up at the same time every day, follow a strict routine which designates a definite time to start working, and dress the part. That means working in pajamas will not become a reality.
The body needs to be fooled into thinking that the home, which is typically a more relaxing environment, is now actually one where large amounts of work are done. It needs to feel like it’s in an office, and following a strict routine and dress code is the best way to ensure that’s the case. Besides, when the day is done, the commute from office attire to pajamas involves a trek to the bedroom, rather than to the nearest interstate. It’s still a pretty great arrangement.
Discipline and Smart Distractions are the Keys to Success
There can be no home-based productivity without dedication, discipline, and the right kind of distractions. Work with the home, rather than against it, and telecommuting to work can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding positions in the entire world. Well, except for the position of being in bed, with those pajamas on.