Working from home is great, but it can be problematic if it’s not well managed.    The first step in your new journey of working from home is to designate an area in your home for work.  This could be a spare bedroom that you convert to a home office.  Regardless of space or location, establish an area of your home where you will work.  Be sure your work space is quiet so you can focus on the task at hand.

Now that you have your office area set up, it’s time to get down to business.  You should make working from home an everyday commitment, and set specific business or work hours.  The wonders of working from home is that you can be flexible in setting your working hours.  If you are most productive in the mornings then you may want to set your work hours from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  By setting specific work hours and sticking to them, you will increase performance and develop a healthy work schedule.  You will also be a more efficient employee.

When working from home you don’t have a boss or superior breathing down your neck and it can be challenging to keep up with what you have to do throughout your workday.  It’s easy to lose sight of priorities, tasks, and deadlines.  Make a to – do list and get into the habit of using a planner.  For example, if you work from home some days but are on the road for others, get in the habit of using a planner to write down and keep track of deadlines, appointments, and meetings.

Don’t work in your pajamas.  Yes, this is one reason why people love working from home.  If you are working in your pajamas, then you are probably hurting your productivity.  Getting dressed really matters when you work from home.  Beyond psychologically getting you in the right mindset for work, you’ll be ready to handle unexpected zoom meetings that arise at the last minute.  You’ll be prepared to get work done, and will be mentally and physically prepared for the day.

It’s wise to know why working from home can work.  A dedicated employee knows the responsibility that comes from working remote.  Avoid the TV and other digital distractions such as social media so you can focus on your work and getting things done.  Social media can take up a lot of your time, and if you aren’t careful it will affect your job performance.

Structuring your day is very important.  If you need to run an errand, try to do it on your lunch break, or before or after work hours just as you would if you were working in a company office.  

Last, but certainly not lease, take time to meet with your teammates often, either by phone, email, conference call or zoom.  Personal contact is very important and should be practiced to keep people feeling in the loop.  By meeting with your teammates regularly you will all be able to communicate what is going on within the company.  Communication is of upmost importance for success, especially when working from home.

In conclusion:  Having a schedule, being prepared, and communicating with your teammates will benefit not only yourself, but the company as well. 

Gina Cheatham/Sales Director for The Firm, Inc.