Tips for Effectively Working from Home

By on May 2, 2016 in How To
Tips for Effectively Working from Home

If you're considering working from home, it's important to find a healthy balance between getting your work done and having a healthy home life. Before you commit to anything, you might try out working from home for a short period of time to see if it's the right environment for you. A lot of people can have a difficult time disconnecting from their work, even after the work day is over, which can cause them to work too much and over exert themselves. Other people have difficulties focusing when they work from home. In the end, it's all about finding the balance between work life and home life.

You should take time to consider the effects of working from home before you fully commit to it, because you may not realize that there is a difficult balance of separating your work life from your home life. In addition, it can be difficult for remote workers to feel connected to the office environment simply because you're not in the same place as your co-workers. This means it will take extra effort on your part and on the part of your co-workers and employer to stay connected and in constant communication. There are so many benefits to working from home, but it's also important to make sure it's the right and healthy choice for you. We've compiled some tips to help you find the perfect balance between your personal life and your work life, and hope these help you effectively and happily work from home.

Define Your Workspace

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One of the first things you should try to do if you're going to work from home is set aside a space to work where you can completely focus on work. It's nice to have a little area that is specifically set aside to get things done that you need to. At the end of the day you can step away from this space, with the comfort of knowing all your work papers and documents are safely in one place.

Partitioning off a part of your home is a great way to help you find a balance between work and home. Setting aside a space just for your work, means that the rest of your home is dedicated to your home and personal life.

Stay Organized

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Sometimes it's difficult to separate work life from home life, but it can become increasingly more difficult when you're working from home. The key is to stay organized. For different people, this means different things, but it's all about finding what is going to work for you.

Check out these ways to stay organized:

  • Keep an Up-To-Date Calendar: Use a paper calendar or a digital calendar to keep track of upcoming tasks and events. Whatever system works for you, use it so that you don't forget what you have to do or get done.
  • Use a To Do List: Create a daily, weekly, or hourly to-do list to help you keep track of the variety of things you need to get done.
  • Everything has a place: In your defined workspace, make sure that you keep all of your different papers and projects neat and organized, don't complicate your space by incorporating household bills or projects...

Understand Your Expectations

Before you can work from home and have it be effective for both you and your company, there should be expectations established on both sides. The employer has to fully trust the employee and lay their expectations out on the table clearly. Are there work hours? Are you expected to be online and available at certain times? Do you simply have to get the job done as best you can, no matter what your hours? From the worker perspective, you have to trust yourself that you can get the job done from home. If you're easily distracted and this could impact the performance of your work, why tempt fate?

Take Breaks

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When you work at the office, you're bound to take breaks. Whether it's going to get coffee, or taking a few minutes to chat with your co-workers, you won't always be going 24/7. When you work from home, it's important to remember to take time for yourself to breathe and step away from from your work. You still need to eat meals and give your brain some time to pause and relax for a little while. Scheduling reminders to take a break may seem a little silly, but hey, whatever works!

Further reading: How to Stay Fresh When You Work from Home

Define Work Hours

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Try to set certain hours that you're going to work when you work from home so that you continue to maintain some sort of a schedule. Tell yourself you're going to work from 8-5 and take breaks in between. When 8am comes around you should be ready to work with 100% effort, and then when it's 5pm it should be time to stop and take care of yourself and go out and have a little bit of fun. Maintaining balance is important so that you don't burn out and end up driving yourself mad.

Don't Isolate Yourself, But Also Set Boundaries

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It's super important to stay connected with your co-workers, or if you work by yourself, to try and stay connected with the outside world in some way. You can try going to a co-working space, a coffee shop, or anywhere where you're not always by yourself. If you want the ambiance of a coffee shop, but can't leave your house, you might try something like Coffitivity to bring the coffee shop to you.

It's also important to set boundaries with your friends and family. Make sure the people in your life know that you have a job and you have to get work done, even if you're working from home.

If Possible, Go Into the Office

Sometimes it's good to go in to the office and actually get people to see your face in real life. It will make a big impression and show a lot if you make that little bit of extra effort to be present and show your face to the company. Skype is great, but so are face-to-face meetings.

The Final Word: Working from home is a privilege, you just want to make sure that you don't let your work life completely consume your home life. Be sure to take breaks, find the balance between working, and having a healthy personal life.

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21 Comments

  1. You forgot the most important thing...

    Sound proof your office against crying newborns, and don't be a dummy and have your office across the hall from their bedroom where they whine when they are trying to fall asleep.

  2. The things that work best for me are the following:

    • Turn off the internet while I am working on a design or illustration project (also on my phone) I am only available by phone, which is enough
    • Make sure my cat has enough food and his own pile of papers to sleep on
    • Take 5 minutes break every hour
    • During the lunch brake: go outside for a walk to clear my head

    But it is still hard to work at home from time to time. It depends on the amount of sleep I had, or my inspiration, etc. As is the same when working at an office.

  3. Working at home is hard thing. Many people think that it's a heaven on earth - your own working hours, able to do other things while working, you own goals. But there are many negative sides of these 'benefits' and it demands A LOT of self-discipline to be productive. Many people forget about this.

    Nice article, thanks Maryam!

  4. Great read, handy tips in there, a lot I have used myself over the years since working from home full time :)

  5. I've been working from home for over 12 years. I literally had to build a separate building in my backyard to find the right separation between work and family/home life. I "walk" to work in the morning, "walk home" for a lunch break, and walk back to work until 5PM. I try to not allow distractions but it is not always possible. Overall having a totally separate space is what I've found to allow my work to be possible at home. When I go to my company's office I can't get nearly as much done. It's way too distracting having people around, but it is good to catch up and have some face to face discussions. GOOD TIPS!

  6. I have worked from home for the past 4 years. I am very successful too. Recently a lot of my friends have been asking me to teach them how to make money working from home so they get started too. My partner suggested that I make a free website only for my friends so that I can teach them all in one place and show them all the EXACT sites I use to make money working from home over night. So I started life-Starters(dot)com It will help you if you are struggling to make money from home. It's free

  7. If you have a family, it also helps to have them on board and some good boundaries set. I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old. I had to do a few things to make sure that they didn't interfere with work. It meant putting doors on my office and gating off that part of the house. My wife is also super supportive and understanding of the need to focus during work hours.

    Then I make sure to be done by 5:00 sharp each day so that I can leave "work" for the day and focus on home life. If 5:01 comes around and I'm still in my office, it's not rare for one of my kids to come in my office and remind me of the time. And I don't mind at all.

  8. Like Nathan is doing, it's best to have a separate study rather than a mere partition. When you enter the office, it's "game time". There should be no other distractions except the "32 tasks" that you need completed for the day. If they can't be delayed, finish them all. Otherwise do the most important ones and work your way down to the least important task.

    And when you leave the room, at your fixed end time, work stops right there. It's family time.

    However, ideas tend to drop like bricks when you least expect them, so always have a notepad or smartphone handy. And execute the new ideas only when it's "game time" once again and not during "family time".

  9. Data entry home based jobs are giving lot of oppertunities for the youngsters in earning money during their free times.Due to the increase use of social media sites people are aware about the jobs and how to utilize the vacancies.

  10. Great article! After setting up my own small business I have recently started working from home and it's taking a lot of adjustment and discipline to make the most of my time in the "office". It's so easy to become distracted, but with the help of to-do lists and turning off my email I am making progress!

  11. Working from home can be very difficult, especially when your trying to balance so many things at once. I actually started my own blogs for moms explaining how to manage your time while making a full time income from home.Need tips or advice reach me at MKFARCHER@GMAIL.COM Appreciate all the great information, loved the post.

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  13. These tips you have given in your article really very helpful. All the information given here seems to me effective for working from home and get a healthy income too.
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