The regular work-at-home, non-self-employed population has grown by 140 percent since 2005, according to research from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com. That translates to 3.7 million employees working from home at least half the time, as 40 percent more U.S. employers now offer more flexible workplace options compared to five years ago.
The benefits that working from home offers are indisputable. But those benefits often come at a cost when you find it difficult to turn off the clock and stop working.
Developing an organized work-at-home routine and creating an efficient workspace to facilitate productivity is a must, not only for business owners working from home, but also for remote workers or those who telecommute. Consider applying these tips to assist you in becoming a more productive, well-balanced and focused work-at-home professional:
1. Choose a dedicated, efficient work space where you can go specifically to get in the right frame of mind during work hours.
2. Establish electronic and physical boundaries. Don’t let office work spill out of the work space and resist the temptation to answer work emails during your personal time.
3. Be proactive and use technology to stay connected. There are many project management and collaboration options available that you can access via websites, apps or both. When it comes to meetings, there are also a number of services available to facilitate high-quality connections so you feel like you’re across the table rather than across the city or even the country.
4. Make your work space a place you enjoy and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Don’t forget, it’s important to keep your space organized for better productivity. Products such as ClosetMaid’s free-standing storage furniture can transform a room into a stylish, functional work space. The line includes pieces such as desks, printer stands, bookshelves and more, so it’s easy to keep things at your fingertips and store them neatly away at the end of the day.
5. Don’t always stay at home. For a refreshing change of pace, find a Wi-Fi-enabled establishment and work from there on occasion. The change of scenery can provide a fresh perspective and minimize the sense of social isolation some work-at-home professionals may feel from time to time.
6. Set work schedules and time parameters then adhere to them. When your office is at home, it’s easy to fall into a habit of jumping on the computer to handle one quick project or answer a simple email, but it’s easy to let that practice evolve into a 24/7 work schedule. Draw a clear line to ensure working from home doesn’t mean your home life suffers.
7. Take breaks. Get up, clear your mind and stretch so you can return to your work space refreshed and energized for greater productivity.
It’s true that working from home has numerous advantages, but working from home requires discipline. Maintaining a clean and organized workspace, keeping in touch and limiting distractions also allow those who work from home the opportunity to be as successful as their in-office counterparts.
Source and bottom photo courtesy of ClosetMaid - Top photo credit: Africa Studio
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