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5 Great Tips to Work from Home Productively

2012 May 14
by Contributor

Working from home can be a wonderful thing.  There’s no commute.  There’s no one looking over your shoulder.  There’s just you and your work.  The flexibility, benefits and the fact that many jobs can be done via the Internet, enable more and more people to call home their office.

But working from home comes with fantastic responsibility.  People who understand this may find much success and personal enjoyment.  For those looking to improve their work-from-home practices, we talked with Meredith Haberfeld from the Institute for Coaching and had her help us compile 5 great tips to help the stay-at-home employee remain productive, efficient, and happy.

  • Make sure you have a clean dedicated space for work
  • It’s easy to just lie in bed or lounge on the couch with your laptop, but research shows that individuals who do this are consistently less productive than those who do not.  Reasons that could lead to this may stem from the relaxed mindset that an employee may have starting and continuing their work day in this fashion.

    Furthermore, it’s important to have clear boundaries when working from home.  For instance, if you have children, they should know that when you are at work, you should not be disturbed unless there is a very important reason.  This can aid in keeping interruptions to a minimum.

  • Dress as if you are going to the office
  • For very similar reasons as making sure you have a dedicated workspace, it’s very important to not go to work in your pajamas or lounging clothes.  Putting yourself into work mode and dressing as such can lead to increased productivity.

    However, we are not suggesting that it is necessary to wear your best suit in your house. One of the perks of working at home is that you shouldn’t have to do this.  Just wearing something business casual or whatever is relevant to your industry each day can increase your effectiveness substantially.

  • Follow a set schedule
  • It’s actually very easy to get caught in a lull either from not working enough or from working too much if you don’t follow a set schedule.  Keeping an organized schedule helps you understand when you should be working and when you shouldn’t.

    Furthermore, make sure that when you are not supposed to be working you don’t.  For instance, when you get up in the morning, do what you would normally do before going to the office.  If that means working out, eating breakfast, or taking a shower, do it.  Getting up and going straight to work can lead to a lower quality of life and in turn, can affect your productivity.

    Finally, you should track your productivity/efficiency during your schedule.  For instance, do you work better in the morning or evening?  Do you work better from home or at a café?  Find out where you are at your best and create your schedule accordingly.

  • Keep a task list that you will follow
  • Make sure that you have a list of tasks that you plan on getting to throughout the day.  This will help you meet deadlines, keep focused, and remember important calls/meetings.  Make sure to mark off when you do complete items.

    By keeping this list, studies show that you are more apt to do what you put down in writing.  Thus, this should be a daily task to follow.

  • Maintain your diet
  • This item is a bit more obscure, but it’s much easier to eat anything you want when working from home.  Individuals who work from home have a tendency to eat less desirable food and eat more frequently.  Maintaining unhealthy practices can lead to obesity, depression, and have an impact on your work and personal life.

With these few tips, we hope that you find working from home a more productive and enjoyable experience!

Michael Molligi is representative from the Institute for Coaching.

Image Credit: 1.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. May 22, 2012

    My workspace is a complete mess and I am guilty of not sticking to a routine. With the kids needing attention in the day, I find myself doing most of my work at night. They start school soon though, so hopefully I can switch to working during daylight hours :)

  2. May 22, 2012

    Setting a schedule is everything my friend! Amazing post to inspire a wannabe full-time blogger! Cheers

    PS CommentLuv plugin is out-dated hence is no longer supported on this site. You might want to check that out.

  3. May 24, 2012

    The big difference in working at home and at the office is you can save money, time, and energy. However, there’s no office mates to talk and laugh with while working doing your task. Also, its boring to stay at home the whole day.

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