There may come a day soon when the modern office as we know it ceases to exist. Indeed, one fast-growing trend among young professionals is the practice of working from home.
Given recent technological advancements, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine a world when most (if not all) important business is done from the comfort of your own couch. However, as convenient as working from home is for most people, it can also present a unique set of challenges for entrepreneurs who are used to the nine-to-five grind. So, to help alleviate this transition from the corner office to the living room, here are eight tips to work from home more effectively than ever before:
Limit Internet Usage
The development of the internet has changed and improved just about every facet of life, work, and entertainment in modern society. But it won’t always help you focus on your job. Sure, there are certain programs, spreadsheets, and web pages that most professionals need to access to properly do their jobs. Still, while working at home it’s especially easy to get distracted by the (literally) limitless possibilities the internet offers. Don’t go looking up how to get a mortgage online when you need to concentrate on a time-sensitive project. One way to more efficiently gauge your internet usage is to set goals and reward yourself after completing a task. Budget five minutes to goof around on Facebook after you complete a project, and then make sure to get back to work.
Make a Playlist
One great advantage to working from home is the peace and quiet it affords. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the office can be a great way to recharge your batteries. However, for some people who thrive off of noise and energy, you can create a work-from-home playlist that’ll spark your creativity. (Note that it doesn’t much matter if you pick classical music or classic rock. Anything that motivates you will help out.)
Collaborate When You Can
There’s no denying it: working from home can be a lonely experience. That’s why it’s vital that you seize every opportunity to collaborate with your coworkers, either in-person or over Skype. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to market a special brand of luer adapter, or you’re looking to calculate next year’s expense report –– working with others generally improves engagement. Additionally, bringing in a new perspective can clue you in to ideas and concepts you may have overlooked on your own.
Find Your Spot
Working from home is all about resisting temptation. Don’t work in front of the TV. Don’t work in a cozy chair. In short, don’t work near anything that could tear you away from your assignments. Some professionals go the extra mile and leave their home completely if they need to power through a particularly difficult project. However you decide to create an in-home office, be sure to give yourself all the resources you need to succeed –– without any of the distractions to wreck your concentration.
Feeling drained, bored, exasperated, frustrated, or just got a mean case of cabin fever? Then get up and walk around your neighborhood. Hit the gym. Roll out the yoga mat. Part of succeeding while working at home is setting a schedule that works for you. So take advantage of your autonomy to get the blood flowing if you’re struggling at your desk. Exercise increases productivity, and you’ll likely return from your workout feeling rejuvenated.
Emphasize a Routine
One problem that many people who aren’t accustomed to working from home encounter is the inability to get into a groove. Traditional work is centered around a set agenda, but working from home doesn’t include the same rigid routine. That’s why it’s up to you to develop a schedule that works for you. Deviating from your norm more often than not will leave you unproductive and frustrated.
Set Definite Targets
If you’re finding it tough to get down to business without your coworkers (and your boss) checking in with you, then you may want to consider making a to-do list. Giving yourself goals to strive toward on a daily basis will help you clear your mind and prioritize the most important work.
Let’s face it: working from home shouldn’t be a slog. Rather, it should be something you look forward to and enjoy. Remember, you’ve got the freedom to work in your slippers, listen to loud music, and make yourself a snack anytime you like –– without anyone there to object. While you don’t want to get off track too much, indulging (a bit) in whims or flights of fancy should be a fun element to working from home. If you really want to get the most from working from home, cater to yourself from time to time. After all, the ultimate goal of working from home is to reach production levels you couldn’t achieve while at the office. Keep that in mind any time you find yourself uninspired or listless, and you’ll likely get some bright ideas to freshen things up. And the best part is, you get to be the boss and make those calls yourself!