The reasons for working out of your home are varied:
- Starting your own business and need to watch expenses while getting started
- Frequent travel for your job
- Telecommuting for your home office which is hundreds of miles away
Whatever the reasons, there are some fundamental tips for working from home:
- Have a Designated Work Area- If at all possible! This should not be the kitchen nor dining room table.
- Set your work hours 8-5, 9-5, whatever is best for you, and keep a clock in your office.
- Dress for work! You don’t need a tie or a suit or heels, but don’t start your work day in your PJs.
- Leave the house work for ‘after work’. Don’t decide to do some laundry just as you’re about to tackle a project that you would just as soon put off!
- Take breaks, just as you would ‘at your office’ and use that time to do some of that housework, or take a quick lap outside. BUT, be sure your breaks are for a designated time period.
- Take a lunch break for a designated time. If you need to, use this time to run errands just as you would if you worked in a traditional office.
- Keep the space clean! Empty the trash at the end of the day, remove all cups, mugs, dishes etc. You’ll be more productive if you start each day with a clean work area.
- If part of your job is visiting clients to make sales calls, keep track of your time – don’t get caught in the mindset of , ‘well I made a sales call, now I can go look for those shoes I’ve been wanting’. Do your shopping on your ‘lunch hour’.
- When making telephone calls to clients, be aware of noises in the house from pets, children, lawn mowers, washing machines, etc. There is nothing wrong with working from home, but out of consideration for your client and your own professionalism, be sure you are in a room with a closed door if there’s the possibility of outside disturbances.
Keep lists! There’s nothing worse to throw off your schedule than sitting down to get started and learning you don’t have another print cartridge or you need stamps, or you’re completely out of paper for your printer, and on and on. Your list should include any item that you have ONE MORE OF. Don’t wait until you run out of an item, buy it before you need it. An idea that works for many is to keep the list on your cell phone, so it is always with you.
It’s important to remember that working from your home is a legitimate endeavor!