There are many great advantages to working from home, due in part to the advance of the internet age combined with a shift in company culture more and more entrepreneurs, companies and thus intrapreneurs are embracing the convenience and indeed expediency of working from home. Yet to achieve increased productivity and efficacy it isn’t always as straightforward as a simple change in location. There are many strategies available to help you work more effectively from home. And most have one thing in common, discipline.
That being said here are my top 6 tips to help you to work more effectively from home.
#1- Get dressed for work:
Although you may feel more comfortable with dressing down whilst working from home, (as who is going to see right?) spending the day in your boxers or pyjamas is not the best way to get you in the correct frame of mind required to work effectively. As mentioned above discipline is crucial in your daily approach to work and dressing right is a significant part of that. By dressing as if you were indeed at the office, you will automatically switch to a more professional and cognizant state of mind, thus enabling you to work more effectively from home.
#2-Establish a designated workspace:
Just as your bedroom is for sleeping (and other nocturnal activities) and your kitchen is for cooking, you need a designated work area at your home. If you are not fortunate to have enough rooms for a separate office, define a space in your living room etc that is solely for work. As with the previous point, this is all about creating the correct atmosphere and getting yourself in the correct mind state to work effectively from home. Lying in bed with your laptop or cuddled up on the sofa with it is not an effective way to work productively.
#3-Establish regular hours:
One of the great advantages of working from home is the liberty to choose your own work hours. Not all of us work effectively within the traditional 9-5 time frame. I prefer to go to the gym at 9 in the morning when it is less busy, therefore my schedule accommodates this, or you might have small children meaning that the period from 2-6 pm is er spent with them as opposed to working. I lived with a friend who found that he achieved the best results working after 9pm when the entire house was quieter. Whatever your lifestyle and routine are work out which schedule suits you best and then stick to it. Pretty soon this will become a habit, regardless of location.
When working in your designated space within your schedule eliminate or reduce all possible distractions. Studies show that it takes 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted concentration on one task before we reach the best level of focus, so checking your social media feeds or phone every few minutes detracts greatly from your ability to work effectively from home. When working I recommend disabling your internet connection, turning off your tv and switching off your phone (at the very least disable social media alerts.)
#5-Communicate with your housemates/family:
A large part of points 2-4 in particular, and an underlying theme of this article is that of creating an environment within which you can be at your most effective. Communicating with the people you live with is crucial, as it is of no consequence in having designated time and work areas if your housemates are not aware of or respectful of this. Just because you work from home does not mean you are able to hang our 24/7 , inform you housemates of your work hours so as to give them best opportunity to respect and support your endeavours.
#6-Get out of the House:
My last and favourite tips in regards to working more effectively from home is in fact, to get out of the house. Regular breaks will allow you to refresh, relax and gain perspective. It is important to get out and about, whether it be a short walk, meeting a prospect, supplier partner, etc in a fresh location, or simply taking advantage of your favourite cafes’ free wifi, a change in location and a breath of fresh air will revive you allowing you to indeed work more effectively from home.
Working from home is great, and when done correctly it can be a lot more effective than being couped up in an office cubicle all day. That said, as with so much of entrepreneurship it requires discipline and persistence.
What are your tips regarding working more effectively from home, please share below in the comment section.