Did you know that the number of telecommuters in the US has grown almost 80% since 2005? There’s no argument that working from home is on the rise in this digital age, but some telecommuters find it difficult to move away from the traditional workplace. Here are some tips on how a new telecommuter can make the transition easier:
Set aside a time and a place for your work.
It is so easy to get distracted when you work at home. You have the chance to complete chores, cook meals, chill out on the couch with some Netflix – the opportunities are endless.
In order to compete with the constant potential interruptions throughout your day, set up a “work only zone” within your home. Be it a home office or a comfy chair in the corner of your bedroom, a distraction free zone is crucial to a telecommuter. It is important that this area is only for working, and that you not allow yourself to come and go freely throughout the day. Stay in your “zone” until your work is completed, then let yourself commute back home (even if it only takes a couple of steps, it’s the mental change that’s crucial).
Develop a “Pre-work” routine.
Most office workers have a morning routine. They get up, shower, and have breakfast and a cup of coffee before making the trip to work. Some telecommuters find that instituting this same pre-work plan gets them into a working mindset, and makes focus and concentration easier for the rest of the day.
Another telecommuter secret is to dress as if you were going into the office. It’s certainly tempting to work while in your pajamas (especially if your job doesn’t involve any video conferencing) but, just as with the last few tips, it’s all about getting into a working mindset.
Get your family and loved ones onboard.
Working at home can be nearly impossible without a supportive family. Spouses and children need to understand that you’re unavailable (even though you’re in the home). Distractions should be kept to a minimum, and saved for the end of the day, or during your lunch break.
This also goes for your loved ones. Ask them to avoid bothering you during certain hours, and don’t allow yourself personal phone calls or social outings during work hours.
Don’t forget to take time off.
When your office is a part of your home, it’s easy to get pulled into working on your ‘off hours.’ The occasional after dinner email won’t hurt, but don’t allow yourself to make a habit of working 24/7.
Make sure to schedule some ‘me time’ on the weeknights or weekends. Go out with your friends and family, and play with your children. It is critical to a healthy lifestyle to have some time off of work every day. According to the Huffington Post, it’s also crucial to create a boundary between your personal life and your work.
Use the right tools to keep yourself on task and in touch with the right people.
The key to being a successful telecommuter is having the right tools at your disposal. You will probably need a good computer, and may even want to add a dedicated work telephone line to your home. In addition, you can invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Also make sure that you have the right business or home insurance policy if you’re running your own home based business. It might seem difficult to insure a home office, but the Vargas and Vargas Insurance team will make it simple. Just call 617-298-0655 to speak to one of our agents about how to best protect yourself. We will get you set up with a home insurance endorsement or a Business Owner’s Policy right away.
Photo credit: gibsonsgolfer / Foter / CC BY-SA