The virtual technology tools of today allow for many of us to work from home. It is nice to have the flexibility of not having a commute or overhead, but it comes with some huge responsibility. It requires extreme self-discipline that not everyone can handle. You should take into consideration the various advantages and disadvantages before taking the plunge to work from home. If you already work from home you can make a few small adjustments that will help you work much more productively. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you improve your productivity when working from home.
Do you have what it takes?
Working from home can be challenging as both an entrepreneur or as an employee. First, you have to have a serious self-reflection to determine if you have the discipline to focus and get work done.
Do you have a dedicated workspace?
Here is the fun part, think about making a space that is just for work. It’s best if you can dedicate one room to be your office. In your workspace make it comfortable with good lighting, and then invest in the right equipment. It might even be time to upgrade your internet modem to speed up your connection.
How will you handle the day-to-day?
The next step is to figure out how you are going to place and receive phone calls. Obviously, you could use your cell phone, but then you are at risk of client’s calling outside of work hours. You can find different services to disguise your cell phone, or even hire an answering service to screen your calls, so you have a moment to do research and give your client the best answer. If you and your team are working remotely, it becomes mission critical to be super responsive.
Have you established a schedule to manage your day?
Establish your work hours and your schedule. The benefit of working from home is that you can be flexible to your personal needs like oversea home projects but the reality of this means it interrupts your productivity and in order to catch up you may have to work at night and weekends. However, “life happens” and interruptions are inevitable. You have to be flexible, willing and able to make up the lost time.
How to establish boundaries with your family?
One of the most significant challenges I find when you work from home is setting boundaries. It goes hand in hand with your work-life balance. The ideal world is to get your work done during your designated work hours, and as a reward, you can relax and have fun with your friends and family afterward. Treat your workspace as an area where you only work; this isn’t a place for your kids to hang out and play on the computer. Your family may try to add extra chores on you since you “work from home”. Be sure to make it clear that there are consequences of these interruptions and that may mean more hours in the office at night and weekend.
It really is nice to be able to work from home, but the challenge is to set up your office so that you can get stuff done without distraction. Set boundaries with your friends and family as well as your clients so that you can balance your work and home life and reap the rewards of your hard work.
If you have already established these ground rules and procedures you are on the right track. We can all use some enhancements from time to time to improve our lives and make work easier.
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