Working from Home

Working from home has many advantages - but it has its pitfalls, too. You could sleep all day long, and get no work done. And it's easy to get side-tracked into doing the washing up or cleaning the kitchen.

According to research by Sterry Communications, 57% of people feelGoing for a walk first thing in the morning can mentally prepare you for work. most productive when working from home. But 14% admitted to having done no work at all.

Having a routine will make sure you stay productive when working from home. Here are some tips to get you started, and get you organized.

Create a morning routine. With so many distractions at home, it can be hard to get started. To get in the right frame of mind, you can go for a walk, as if going to the train station. Or you can get dressed in work clothes.

Don't do household chores. Set fixed times for work, and during these times don't let yourself do anything domestic. So if anyone asks you to take our the rubbish, be firm and say no. You may be in the house, but you aren't 'at home'. You're at work.

Create a workplace, an 'office' preferably with a door you can close. If you have to set up your PC or telephone every time you start working, it'll make your life harder. And with a door, you won't suffer the embarrassment of children's noises or dogs barking when you're on the phone with a client.

Avoid isolation. It's easy to become cut off when you work from home. So, be sure to maintain a network of friends. Join local clubs, workshops, or groups.

Set a time to stop work. It's easy to keep working in the evening, but this will negate the advantages of working from home. Working excessive hours will make you stale. When the clock gets to 5pm, stop working. And don't go into your office during the weekend. If you must work, limit it to a fixed time, such as Sunday 2pm - 5pm. Just as you set boundaries to protect your work time, set them to protect your 'off-time', too.

Market yourself constantly. This will reduce the risk of feast or famine.