Let me start by saying that working from home is not for everyone.
I love working from home. I'm productive, relaxed and really don't miss the commute. However I speak to people regularly who believe that they would hate it. They feel that working from home they would lack focus and fear the isolation. I currently have the best of both worlds. I work from home and I work from the office. In fact I believe the majority of people who 's main place of business is home actually spend half their time there. They spend the other half meeting clients, networking, developing their business; and the increase in drop -in hubs and free networking spaces have made it easier and cheaper to connect and build business relationships.
I will revisit networking and shared spaces in a future blog. Today I am going to focus on making your working day in the comfort of your home a productive one.
These tips work for me:
Don't feel confined by the 9-5
Everyone has times in the day when they are more motivated. For me it is the afternoon. So I plan my day around this. With all administrative jobs completed, emails sent and washing done in the morning I can concentrate on creative or more involved projects in the afternoon. I can also decide to leave the project go for a walk or have dinner then come back to it with fresh eyes and new ideas.
You may work best in the morning and be finished on your projects by the afternoon. Even better as you can then plan your next day, cook dinner or find other ways to fulfil your day. You will be more productive when you are at work if you can also make time for other things.
If you're not working to a fixed schedule and don't have dinner to cook or kids to collect from school then sometimes there is no natural end to your day. Too many times you start work early and are still working when you realise it's dark and you've missed your evening. Then it is often good to set a reminder in your calendar or phone to have a cuppa for a time that you'll definitely want to have finished work by. If you take that step away from your desk you can then decide whether the project you're working on can wait until the next day. It normally can.
It is important to take breaks but it is also important to go outside. A walk round the park or to the shop not only forces you to get dressed it is also good for your health. It provides light exercise, improves your vitamin D levels and will help you clear your head making you more productive when you return to your desk. Constantly putting in long hours without break is draining and damages long term productivity. More importantly it damages your health. A change of scenery will do you good and make you happier.
And that's it. Nothing that will make headlines. Just a gentle reminder to us all that working hard doesn't mean being chained to your desk. It means working to your strengths. Keeping yourself happy and healthy will help in every area of life. Simple.
Author: Sally-Ann White
Date: 22 May 2013