10 Working From Home Tips

Working From Home Tips10 Working from home tips .. or how to stay sane when working from home.

Working from home is not for everybody, but it does suit many people because of the situation they may find themselves in. Here are some great working from home tips if you are considering working from home – be it full or part time, your own business or working for somebody else

As a slight aside I had a conversation with a taxi driver the other day who was taking me to the station. I told him I worked from home a lot and enjoyed it – but his view (interestingly) was that working from home was not for him (apart from the obvious drawback of being a taxi driver!) because he would get easily distracted – by the TV, sport, family members, just the comforts of home. He said he would miss the human interaction and not be able to stay focused when working on his own at home

That got me thinking – that you do need to have a certain mindset, or perhaps even be a certain type of person, to work at home successfully, so if you do find yourself working from home for any reason, you need to demonstrate the same self management skills as if you were in the office.

Here are my top 10 tips for staying sane when working from home (gleaned from around 15 years working from home at regular intervals)

10 Working From Home Tips

Treat Working From Home Like You Were Going to Work

I know the idea of working in your pyjamas is appealing but I always treat working from home in a professional manner as if I was working in the office. This includes having a shower in the morning, dressing as if you were working and treat every aspect of working from home in as professional manner as you would do if you were going into the office

Get the Right Equipment

It is important to get the right equipment when you are working from home – this includes

  • Hardware – a laptop or desktop, printer, necessary connections, phone,fax if needed
  • Software – make sure you have all the right software you need to do your job, including communication software
  • Connectivity – broadband is vital, plus a mobile or second landline. If you need conferencing facilities or instant messaging get hold of i
  • Office equipment – paper,stationary etc
  • Furniture – it’s tempting to work from home with a laptop on the sofa but you need to abide by proper health and safety rules and maintain good posture etc when you are working from home

Assign Office Space

Assign some sort of office space in your house. Ideally this would be a separate room with a desk, filing cabinet and equipment but this is not always possible.

If it isn’t possible assign yourself some space where it is clear to all the family that is where you work.. they will soon get used to it and by doing this they will learn to avoid that space when you are working … if you move around the house when working everybody is confused.

Use Communication Tools

Make sure you use all the communication tools necessary to do your job. This will keep you in touch with the office and with the outside world. This includes

  • Skype
  • Instant Messaging
  • Video Conference
  • Audio Conference
  • eMail
  • Project and document sharing tools

Set Boundaries for Your Family and Friends

This is the biggest thing that people moan about when working from home – that friends and family “just pop in” or that you can be interrupted at any time. Or that you are available to “do jobs” just because you are not at the office. You can nip this in the bud by setting and agree clear boundaries with friends and family – times when you are available and times when you are not … a mental “do not disturb” sign if you like

This is probably my top working from home tip

Set Boundaries for Yourself

The flip side of setting boundaries for your friends and family is setting boundaries for yourself , and in particular times when you can be interrupted, and times when you have “finished work” and stick to them.

If your children know that you are finishing work at 5pm then they will be more inclined to wait until 5pm to interrupt you… but you must stick to the rules if you possibly can, if you don’t stick to them, then it’s unlikely your family will be willing to …

Go Out for Lunch/Walk/Gym

Make sure you at least break for lunch and go out if you can. Any sort of human interaction will help even if it is posting a letter at the post office. Meet up for coffee with friends if you can or

Remember the Advantages of Working From Home

And remember why you do it… including the 2 second commute, no expense of commute, no irritating colleagues, boss, the freedom to set your own agenda etc

Join a Local Group of Work From Home Telecommuters

Find and join a local group of people who work from home – either those that have their own business or those that work from home general. The shared experience will do you good and you can also share working from home tips based on your own and others experiences

Go Into The Office Once in a While

If you telecommute (ie working for an employer) then make a point of going into the office at least once every couple of weeks. This will keep your face known, you can keep up with the latest gossip and pickup on any updates you need to face to face

Meet the Author 

author

Andy Thompson is the author and site editor  (that’s me)! I am passionate about developing the skills to be the best you can be. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or GPlus, or join my  newsletter .

 

There you have my top 10 Working From Home Tips …. please add any comments if you can think of more …