10 Tips For Working Effectively At Home

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Photo: Flickr / roboppy

More than 10 per cent of U.S. employees now regularly work from home, according to a survey by Stanford University.This saves money on commuting and they also don’t need to worry about their managers breathing down their necks.

Although there are some who find they are more productive when working from home, “losing the structure provided by a regular office job can be detrimental to success,” warns Andrew Rosen, founder and editor of the career advice blog Jobacle.com, in a conversation with Glassdoor

Many people working from from home, whether they are self-employed, working remotely, or out on leave, experience difficulties that those in an office setting don’t. But there are still a number of ways you can be just as productive at home as you are in the office.

We’ve collected the 10 best tips to increasing your productivity when working from home.

1. Set your working hours.

If you commit yourself to specific hours like you do at the office, you're more likely to get work done during those hours.

One perk of working from home is that you don't have to work 9-5. If you operate better at night, and the kind of work that you do permits it, start work at 7:00pm. But whatever your hours are, make yourself a routine, and be committed to it.

This Wired article also suggests dressing for work during those times to stay more focused on the task at hand. You don't have to put on a suit, but do get out of your pajamas.

2. Tell your family and friends to leave you alone.

3. Clearly define and optimise your work space.

4. Communicate well and often with your colleagues.

5. Make a daily to-do list.

6. Back away from the screen.

According to Science Daily, people spend more than five hours on average sitting at their desks each day.

Take a time out. It will remind you that you have a life outside of work, it will clear your head, and give your eyes a break from staring at a screen. Just be sure to let the people you work with know when you won't be reachable during these breaks.

7. Get some human interaction.

Don't make all of your work connections through email. It's more valuable to your career--and your mental well-being--to have a real conversation with someone, even if it's over the phone.

You may want to go outside of your house to work for a while. Try heading to a coffee shop or to the library and working there, if it won't be a distraction to you. Sometimes just having other people around can help you get more done, especially if they're working too.

8. Develop relationships with other telecommuters.

You probably won't be getting the benefits of bonding with your coworkers around the office water cooler the way you used to. Not only that, but if you're someone who telecommutes, 'you may be left out of unplanned brainstorming or crisis-management meetings, which can lower your profile at work,' according to CNN.

Keep communication open between yourself and your colleagues in and out of the office. And if you can call in to a meeting through a conference phone, ask them to let you know.

9. Keep your work space clean and free of clutter.

If you've worked in an office building before, you've probably noticed that it's cleaner when you come in the next morning than how it was left the night before. If you haven't noticed, then you probably would if it hadn't been cleaned. Messes are distracting.

If this isn't motivation enough, studies show that over time, your desk can collect more than 400 times the bacteria on your toilet seat. Are you convinced yet?

Susan Seaburg serves as Field Development Manager for the Americas for Hewlett-Packard, and offers her input on working from home. 'The good news is that now you can work anywhere, and the bad news is that now you can work anywhere,' she tells Santa Clara University.

The majority of people go home to get away from work. You don't have that option. Make sure you still maintain a careful work-life balance. Just because you work from home doesn't mean you should be working all the time while you're home.

Now see how to deal with a difficult boss:

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