The best part of going to work is coming back home at the end of the day. ~ Unknown (Tweet this)
Working from home is often fraught with many problems, and yet a whole lot of us have to work from home under some compulsion, even if for a short period of time.
Although going to work every day does get monotonous, working from a home office or study to complete a project can also be equally disastrous, unless we find a way to keep things going.
Tip 1: Do a reality check
Why do you want to work from home? Is it because you are a primary caregiver for a family member? Or is it because you are a student and want to finish a project or study for an exam? Are you a freelancing professional who wants to reduce cost of maintaining an officer and thinking working from home is a good idea? How many members are there in your family staying at your home? When are they around? How many hours will you need to allot for your project every day?
These are some of the questions you really need to answer before you opt to do an assignment from your home. The clearer the ground realities are, the better able you will be to prioritize your work life, even at home.
Tip 2: Fix up a work schedule
Working from home only becomes worthwhile when you plan ahead. So decide on your work schedule ahead of starting your projects. All questions regarding your work, such as how many hours a day you will need; to what time in the day you will work; to how you will organize your household chores around your work; your sleep and eating routines; etc, all must be meticulously planned ahead before you begin. Keep a journal of your progress.
Tip 3: Set up a corner or a room as an office
Home offices may not be like the plush work spaces of the corporate buildings, but need not be dull and shabby either. Keep an area of the house, separate from the rest, as your work space. Install your laptop, phone, printer, or other gadgets you need at your home office and keep it clean, comfortable and cozy.
A good workspace can be highly motivating when you are working from home. Whenever I change houses, I set up my home office immediately on settling in, giving me a sense of purpose. Indulge in a good organizer and set up your daily plans and work schedules in it. Keep your workspace out of bounds for children and other family members, and treat it just as you would treat your office space.
Tip 4: Cater for distractions
Working from home is typically peppered with distractions. Ringing telephones, friendly neighbors, attending household emergencies like sick children, or even running errands may crop up more than the number of times you have bargained for. Your work schedule will have to cater to these distracting episodes, and leave you with enough time to complete the project within the timeline.
Distractions are good for working too, as intense periods of loneliness, of feeling of being cooped up in a cubicle, are reduced by these distractions, allowing us to remain motivated to work. So keep your distractions going, only try and limit them. Shutting off the world behind a closed door may not work for all of us. We need our breathers too.
Tip 5: Include physical exercise in your workday
Working out and physical exercise is a great way to relieve stress of the day, help you stay slim, and keep you motivated, when otherwise you are leading a sedentary lifestyle. A daily bout of running, swimming, or playing an outdoor game can be good for your mind, and remove the cobwebs of the day, helping you discover a new angle, or a new perspective of looking at your work. Stay fit to work well. A friend of mine practices yoga everyday as she works from home.
Tip 6: Brace for loneliness and solitude
If you think getting an empty house will be Godsend, wait till you start working from it! An empty house may become your main obstacle towards completing your work. Solitude affects different people in different ways.
For a loner, solitude may turn into happy hours of working; while for an extroverted person, it may be a killer of his motivation. Be sure to understand yourself and find out if working alone from home is your thing or not.
It’s not easy to work from home, and certainly not better than working from an office. And yet sometimes we have no choice but to take a break from regular work and shift to a home office due to personal reasons. If we plan adequately and cater for pitfalls, it’s possible to make working from home as enjoyable as that from office.