WORKING from home may seem like a dream come true for the modern employee, especially when you work irregular hours, public holidays or overtime. It can also be the ultimate personal productivity test, as many may feel that they lack self-discipline and focus required to be productive for home-based work.
When deciding to work from home, you should keep in mind that your work still deserves the same attention and dedication as your office-based work.
According to Jeff Haden of online website Inc, the key to being productive from a home office isn’t only willpower or determination, but also it’s following a few simple tips that will help you to be efficient and effective.
To ensure that you are productive working from home, career expert Haden and Lifehack, the life inspiration online source, advise how to become a productive home-based worker.
Set up your personal workspace
Setting up a functional workspace is critical to the success of a work-from-home employee. Organise your space so that it contains all the necessary equipment you need. You may decorate your workspace so that it is aesthetically appealing, but try to keep distractions to a minimum.
Inform people of your schedule, then ‘enforce’ it
Interruptions are productivity killers. When you work from home, your family and friends can be the most frequent sources of interruption.
Be proactive by sharing your schedule with them. Explain when you’ll be working. Describe whether it’s “interrupt me at will” (probably not) or “only interrupt me if it’s an emergency” (more likely).
Get a comfortable chair
Working from home implicitly means you’re a knowledge worker, meaning you spend a lot of time working on a computer.
No matter what else you do, invest in a good computer, phone and the most comfortable and ergonomic chair you can find. If you aren’t comfortable, you can’t stay focused to be productive.
Divide your day into 90-minute windows. Instead of thinking about an eight- or 10-hour workday, split your day into four or five 90-minute windows. That way, you will have four tasks that you will get done a lot more
Include breaks in your schedule
Your diary or planner will be full of tasks, calls, meetings and deadlines, but it should also include scheduled breaks. Set break times including lunch. Otherwise your day will get away from you, and so will your opportunities to recharge.
Turn off your notifications
Turning off your computer and phone alerts will improve your ability to focus. If you need to get things done, turn off any digital elements that might interrupt you. When you have finished, lift up your head to see what you might have missed.
Hire a childminder
People who have young children may find it difficult to attend to the needs of their young ones while trying to meet their work obligations. For this reason, it is
advisable to employ a childminder during your working hours.
Avoid volunteering for many activities
Many people will assume that because you work from home, you are free to help them run errands, pick up their children from school
or be an emergency
babysitter if their child catches a cold.
While you may want to help your friends and family, it is important to clarify that your work is just as important as theirs and that you have obligations to meet every working day.