5 Tips For Successfully Working From Home

The 21st century has seen a shift in how and where people work compared to the 20th century and that includes more telecommuting and remote solutions.

According to the U.S Census more than 5% of employed people (through regular jobs or remote positions) are working from home.

Initially, that statistic may look like it’s a low number but that 5% translates to more than 8 million workers who do their jobs from home.

Although the numbers are increasing, it’s still a new approach to work.

Whether you’re a new home-based worker or have been doing remote work for years these five tips will help you succeed in your job.

Have a Dedicated Space You Work In

Some of the benefits of having a space reserved for work include:

  • Helping you switch your mindset from “home” to “work” mode as you prepare to start your work day. It gets your head in the right space for completing your tasks.
  • My secret pro tip is to put a lock on your office door. I have two reasons for this: a) for security purposes, and b) if you have a tendency to work too much or don’t do a good job turning off once you get started, lock the door, check out, and take a break.

Plan Out Your Day to Avoid At-Home Distractions

  • This sounds like a basic best practices tip for time management. Right? Reminders never hurt because we know we shouldn’t drive fast in the snow or rain but we don’t always do it. Do we?
  • Working from home is definitely more comfortable (especially in the clothing department) and it’s so easy to get shiny object syndrome at home.
  • Set your top three “must-dos” to get done each day to help you stay focused. Along with your improved focus and the additional time you’ve gained by eliminating your daily commute this is another tip to keep in mind.

Make the Most of Your Nonexistent Commute Time

  • Now that you’re working from home, you’re probably saving yourself at least an hour a day (e.g., drive time, etc.).
  • I’ve read blogs that suggest spending that time you’ve saved by going through emails for the first 30 minutes of the time you’re saving. I say that is crazy! Here’s a non-work option.
  • Do something with that 30 minutes that is really going to change the quality of your life or the trajectory of your business such as: a) doing a workout, b) do a hobby you didn’t have time to do before, c) meditate or read, or d) work on the BIG THING you want to accomplish

Make Sure You Have All of the Tools You Need When Working From Home

Many people skimp on their home work space, Don’t do it!

These are supplies and tools you need at minimum.

  • A comfortable desk and chair
  • High speed Internet
  • Consider getting a separate phone line for business so that your clients aren’t always calling your cell phone.
  • Look for digital solutions to old school technology you might need so you don’t have to give up as much space (e.g., VOIP systems that use your computer, or cell phone, plus applications like video conferencing programs, or electronic faxes). Yes, there are some industries that still need to send faxes. Thankfully, there are ways to do it without using a standard fax machine.

Find a Way to Stay Connected to a Community

I need to be honest about this because it’s a challenge for many people. Working from home can be isolating!

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution and it just takes finding a community and staying connected to it. You can’t count on your family or spouse for all of this social interaction these suggestions will give you several ways to stay connected personally and professionally.

  • Local networking groups with monthly, weekly or twice a month activities
  • Local hobby groups with meetings
  • Online communities where you have friends you check in with regularly
  • Virtual water coolers, coffee meetings, and happy hours

Final Thoughts

Some planning and a little bit of effort is all it takes to enjoy your work environment and keep it balanced with regular social interaction.

What are you doing to stay connected with people as a work from home professional? Tell us about it in the comments.