How to make working from home work!

September 19, 2016

The nature and organization of work have changed immeasurably over the last two decades. Once considered a fringe perk, working from home is now considered a quite normal and conventional arrangement. The old guard in the larger companies has fought against it for years, believing it to be a ruse by which their younger employees can slack off.

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But the numbers tell the truth of the matter. Companies that have run work-from-home programs have seen an increase in worker productivity. Not to mention the fact that much of what constitutes work nowadays is done virtually. Sending and answering emails, portal collaboration, teleconferences—these are all done by persons who are out of sight of one another.

However, working from home does not come without challenges. There is still much that can make it all go wrong. Here are a few tips to help you make a success of working from home:

1. Focus

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The old timers speak some truth when they say an office-based work set up is better for keeping people focused and disciplined. When you work from home, you put yourself in proximity to a range of distractions. Even if you pack your kids off to school in the morning and do not see them until their return in the afternoon, you will be tempted to do things around the house.

The comfortable and familiar setting will also tempt you into taking personal phone calls during business hours. You will feel the urge to spend large amounts of time on social media. You may also want to go out and say a word to your neighbours who you just happen to spot.

Of course, you do not have to be so robotic as to completely avoid all of these things. But you should not allow them to throw you off the pace of your work. Nor should they interfere with your accomplishing what you have set out to do for the day.

2. Organization

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To work from home you must be organized. You must plan ahead. Know your deadlines and what each day’s tasks are. You should also keep up with emails and other important exchanges throughout the day, so that your colleagues know that you are fully engaged.

3. A Designated workspace

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This can be important in helping you maintain your concentration. Going to the couch or your bedroom may be a distraction. A small desk in the living room or study room will help you create an atmosphere that is exclusively for work. Chain yourself to this desk during working hours. If you do so, you may find yourself able to be more productive and effective than in a similar situation in the office.

4. Personal boundaries

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There may be days when you do not have the house all to yourself. One of the reasons you arranged to work from home is that it gives you the flexibility to care for your children. However, you must establish times when it is necessary for you to break free from whatever you are doing with your kids or partner and so that you can go off to work.

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