Tips for Being Productive While Working at Home
Working at home can be an attractive option for business owners and corporate employees. It does, however, come with its own set of issues. It can be isolating without colleagues to talk to.
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Working at home can be an attractive option for business owners and corporate employees. It does, however, come with its own set of issues. It can be isolating without colleagues to talk to. There are all sorts of distractions that can interfere with the workers’ productivity. The more business-like you make your home office environment and schedule, the easier it will be to work from home. Our expert, a business coach and consultant to many home-based workers, offers these tips.
- Maintain a schedule
Maintain regular working hours and stick to them.
- Get a phone, computer, and printer just for your business
Get a separate phone line, computer, and printer that are only used for your business.
- Keep workspace separate from living space
Keep your workspace separate from your living space. Ideally, it should be visually and acoustically separate from the living quarters.
- Have goals and to-do lists
To gauge your progress, maintain goals and to do lists. On Sunday night or Monday morning, create a plan for the week. At the end of the week, take time to reflect on your progress.
- Talk with other independent workers
Find other independent workers or a personal coach to give you feedback on your ideas and progress.
- When working with a team, have frequent phone and email conversations
If you are working with a team, have frequent phone and email conversations with the members of the team. This helps to keep the project on track and allows team members to anticipate and prepare for problems.
- Document work
Document your work and learn to do this in laser-like language.
- Request feedback from clients and managers
Request frequent feedback from clients and managers to be sure you are always satisfying their expectations. Without daily contact, it is hard to read people. Most people find it difficult to give negative feedback. At the end of a project, they may accept it as is even though they are disappointed with the result. Ongoing feedback helps avoid this problem.
- Take regular breaks during your day
Be creative in your way of relaxing. Meditation, a cup of coffee, a snack, and a walk are examples of ways to stop what you are doing to re-energize.
- Set clear boundaries
Neighbors, friends, and family must know that your office is off bounds. Even though you are home every day, you are working. Have a no-interruption policy during working hours.
Source: Alvah Parker is a Business and Career Coach as well as publisher of the ezine Parker’s Points, an email tip list and Road to Success. Alvah is found on the web at asparker.com. She may also be reached at 781-598-0388.