One of the beauties of working in the 21st century is that you have the power and flexibility of the internet at your fingertips. But if you find yourself working from home for the first time, it is not always easy to shift your frame of mind away from a traditional corporate setting and figure out how to manage your time and expectations.
6 Tips to Help You be Successful
As remote opportunities have grown over the years, millions of Americans are now working from home for the first time in their lives. While this comes with many advantages and opportunities, there are also some unique challenges. Here are a few suggestions that will allow you to be more successful and productive
1. Set Expectations
Even though it is more popular than ever, working from home is still a bit of a unique setup. In order to ensure you are able to get your work done, it is necessary to set expectations (particularly as it relates to others).
Anyone living in your home – including roommates, spouses, and children – need to understand that you are not really home. In other words, they should treat you like you are at work. The same goes for friends and neighbors. They need to know that it is not okay to stop by during the middle of the day and say hello, unless you have prearranged for the meeting.
2. Find Some Privacy
Privacy is important when working from home – particularly if you live with others. It is a bad idea to make the kitchen table your “office.” It is also not advisable to work from your bed. Instead, you need a dedicated room in your home – with a door that can open and close. This added layer of privacy will create some much-needed separation between your work life and personal life.
3. Develop a Schedule
Because of the amount of freedom and flexibility you have at home, you need to put a little bit of structure in place. One way you can do this is by developing a schedule that you follow. This schedule should be complete with start times, lunch breaks, end times, and anything else that you think will help you stay on track over the course of a day.
4. Take Some Time to Yourself
“Working as a freelancer can be daunting at times, especially when days start to merge into one another, and working nights seem to become the norm,” KettleSpace admits.
“Taking some time out for yourself means giving yourself the permission to put yourself first for once, instead of just working for your clients. If you have finished all of your tasks for the day, it is okay to give yourself a little breather.”
For ambitious freelancers who work from home, the temptation to constantly work is always there. Whether it is early in the morning, late in the afternoon, or the middle of the night, constant accessibility makes it hard to stop working. Build downtime into your schedule so that you do not become fatigued.
5. Get Out of the House
“One of the blessings of working remotely is the opportunity to live a more active lifestyle instead of being deskbound, but it’s important to make activity a habit,” journalist Kenneth R. Rosen notes. “Otherwise you’ll fall into the inertia of sitting at your desk all day and never leaving the house at night.”
Exercise gives you an excellent opportunity to get out of the house and do something that is both constructive and healthy. Try taking a jog around the block, riding your bike, or lifting weights at a nearby gym.
6. Keep Your Space Clean
People often claim that messes make us creative, but they do not necessarily promote productivity. If you are trying to be successful in your first work-from-home position, cleanliness and organization must be priorities.
Is Working From Home Right for You?
Working from home may sound idealistic, but it is not right for everyone. If you find it isolating, distracting, and unstructured, you may need another solution. This could look like finding a traditional office-based job, trying out a coworking space, or finding ways to increase accountability throughout the day. Find out what works and play to your strengths.