More businesses are adopting flexible working conditions, the gig economy is growing and the number of entrepreneurs continues to soar, which means many of us are now working from home.
Whether you’re running a business from your home office, avoiding the commute or trying to spend more time with your children, there are many benefits to working from home. But there are also some boundaries that you need to set in order to make your days productive. Here are five tips to keep you on track:
Organise a work space
Having a laptop in bed while you type away in your pyjamas isn’t a good way to work. A bed is simply not a desk. You may find you’re more tempted to drift off to sleep for an afternoon nap or even spend the day watching movies or videos if you’re not in a working frame of mind. Whether you set up a home office or even a computer at the dining table, having a designated work space will help increase productivity.
Don’t make personal calls or have guests during work hours
It’s easy for time to pass by if you have a lengthy phone call or the occasional coffee catch-up with family or friends during the day. Many believe if you work from home, then you’re ‘available’ at all times. But you need to set boundaries. Family and friends are important but enjoy your social and personal life outside of business hours.
Be structured and disciplined
Working from home can be super productive and rewarding when you structure your day well. Be clear about your working hours and get into the habit of waking up early and starting work at the same time each day. Don’t forget to write down your daily tasks and have a schedule in place. Completing all of your tasks before the end of the day takes discipline, but creating a to-do list will help you tick off what needs to be done.
Remember to mix it up
If you’re a social person you may find that cabin fever begins to set in after a few days. If you’re craving some social interaction, change the scenery. Sit in a park, pay a visit to the local café or work from a library. There’s also the option of renting a desk in a creative workspace a couple of days a week or for several weeks at a time.
Take a lunch break
Most office workers take a 30-minute to an hour break – and working from home shouldn’t be any different. While some find being so close to their pantry or fridge tempting, others simply grab a quick snack and power through the rest of the day. It’s important to give your brain a break and clear your head. It will keep you focused on the job at hand.
Sheree Mutton is a freelance journalist and the Founder and Managing Director of media agency, Reeton Media, which specialises in content creation, communications and copywriting.