Many companies today are offering workers more flexibility with their jobs, and that includes the opportunity to work from home. Working from home certainly has its advantages, but it has disadvantages as well, distractions that you need to be aware of and take measures against. Here are some measures you can take to make your work at home more productive.
1. Make a firm schedule and stick to it.
You need to define the hours you will devote to work and then stick to them. Otherwise, you may find yourself taking breaks to putter around the house, or read the newspaper, or catch the news on TV, or other distractions. You will end up working later than you planned, and your work and leisure time will get all mixed up.
2. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted.
If you are working from home, family members or friends may want to stop in and chat with you or ask you a question. You need to be clear with them before you begin that you do not want to be interrupted while you are working.
3. Have a space just for work
You need to have a space that is set aside solely for work. Working on the couch or the dining room table is not going to enable you to do your best work. If you have an area you can set aside for a home office, you should use that.
Doing this will also prevent distractions. Make sure your work area is neat and clean. Having a messy or disorganized area will also make it harder for you to focus.
4. Take breaks.
Whether you are working at the office or at home, it is important to take breaks regularly. Your mind and body need to recharge. Studies have shown that we can only concentrate for about an hour before we need to take a break.
It is important to get away from your desk occasionally.
5. Stop working at the scheduled time.
You may be tempted to work longer than you had planned, but resist the urge. Again, you need to have a clearly defined time for work, and a time for leisure. It is important to maintain a work-life balance.