Top Ten Tips for Working at Home
Working at home can be an attractive option for business owners and corporate employees. It is often a necessity for the unemployed. It does come with its own set of issues. It can be isolating without colleagues to talk to. There are all sorts of distractions that can interfere with the worker’s productivity. The more business-like you make your home office environment and schedule the easier it will be to work from home.
- Maintain regular working hours and stick to them. With all this “free” time it is easy to get side tracked.
- Get a separate phone line, computer and printer that are only used for your business. For the unemployed this may not be possible. Make sure then that everyone else in the home knows you will need the phone line, computer and printer for your job search and that answering the phone must be professionally done at all times. Coach your family on how it is to be done.
- Keep your workspace separate from your living space. Ideally it should be visually and acoustically separate from the living quarters.
- To gauge your progress maintain goals and to do lists. On Sunday night or Monday morning create a plan for the week. At the end of the week take time to reflect on your progress.
- Find other independent workers or a personal coach to give you feedback on your ideas and progress. Most people who work at home miss the sounding board provided by a boss or colleague. It is important to find a substitute.
- If you are working with a team, have frequent telephone and email conversations with the members of the team. This helps to keep the project on track and allows team members to anticipate and prepare for problems.
- Document your work and learn to do this in laser like language. This will help you to see your progress and will help you create talking points for you when your manager wants to review your work.
- Request frequent feedback from clients and managers so that you are sure you are satisfying their expectations continually. Without daily contact it is hard to read people. Most people find it difficult to give negative feedback. At the end of a project they may accept it as is even though they are disappointed with the result. Ongoing feedback helps avoid this problem.
- Have regular breaks during your day. Be creative in you way of relaxing. Meditation, a cup of coffee, a snack, a walk, are examples of ways to stop what you are doing to re-energize.
- Set clear boundaries. Neighbors, friends, and family must know that your office is off bounds. Even though you are home every day you are working. Have a no interruption policy during working hours.