I’ve been working from home for the better part of the past 10 years, and I don’t know if I could go back to a 9 to 5 office environment again. I enjoy the freedom that being home-based gives me, and I love how productive I am. Here are a few things I’ve learned about being a successful home-based worker.
Find Your Ideal Work Hours
The first step in working well at home is to find the hours that work for you. If you’re self-employed, this can be easier than if you’re expected to be at your desk for certain hours of the day, but sometimes there is flexibility either way. I find that I get my best work done between the hours of 6am and 2pm. Sometimes I need to work till 4 or 5, and that’s fine. But evenings are generally off-limits for me for work – my brain just doesn’t work the same way. Find the hours that work best for you and capitalize on them. You’ll be more productive and efficient!
Take Breaks – Lots of Them
When you work from home, there is temptation to slack off and just surf Facebook or watch The View. I am a strong advocate of taking plenty of breaks. So set yourself a timer for a 10 minute break every hour. It can be a break to go refill your coffee, play with the dog for a few minutes, do some stretches, or yes, surf Facebook or watch a bit of TV. Be disciplined in this, keep that timer handy and you’ll find the brain break helps you to get more done in the long run.
Have a Proper Work Space
While some days I do love the freedom of being able to work from the sofa, in general I work out of my home office, as I find it makes me more productive and less prone to distraction. So regardless of whether you use it all the time or not, have a space in your home with at a minimum a desk and a whiteboard that you call your workspace. It can really help you to stay focused.
Change Up Your Location
Even the most disciplined home worker needs to change it up once in a while. Take your laptop to the local library or coffee shop one day, or invest in a membership at a co-working space. Sometimes just putting yourself in a different environment can help you to refocus and be more productive.
Working from home is a beautiful thing. What are some of the ways you make the most of your home-based working life?