I worked from home for 8 years for an insurance company full time, so I know all about what it entails. I understand how difficult it can be to get motivated. But how easy is it and is working from home all that it’s cracked up to be?
Keeping motivated when working from home
Motivation is one of the most difficult issues for people when working from home so it’s important that you have set timescales and targets to obtain. The problem here is that there can be distractions. Learn how to be disciplined is the key to working from home successfully. You’re going to need to make sure that you’re getting the right amount of work done and that you’re not distracted to the point that you lose focus. It can be all to easy to pop in the kitchen and start preparing dinner, or cleaning the bathroom, but you need to make sure you dedicate these jobs to time outside of your working hours.
Some ways to make sure you stick to your work regime might include:
- start a daily task list
- keep a diary
- move yourself away from distractions such as family and television
- make sure you stick to a dedicated work routine i.e. 9am until 5pm everyday, but also make sure you take regular breaks (we’ll cover this area later)
- dedicate a room or outbuilding exclusively to your work
- set yourself regular breaks for screen rest and rehydration
Get a dedicated telephone number for your work calls
There’s nothing worse than getting work calls in your own time and vicaversa. Having a dedicated telephone nymber for your work calls can also mean you can answer the phone in a more professional manner.
There are a myriad of ways to do this and very cheaply. Some don’t even require an additional telephone line. Such examples of services you can use include:
- Skype – as well as video calling, Skype also offer a “Skype number”, which you can buy with a local code and which will divert all calls to that number to the Skype application. Your callers will never know that they’re calling Skype and there are also voicemail options available
- Get a second number from you cell/mobile phone provider – may will offer a second line with a second number for little extra a month and you can usually set the second like to show it’s a work call, not personal
- Consider buying a landline phone number and having it diverted to your mobile phone, if required
Whatever way you want to go, there are plenty of companies offering bespoke, professional telephone services for not a lot of money. There’s never been a better time to move to a professional service – there’s a great deal of suppliers.
Try to get as much natural light as possible
It’s well know that natural light is much better for people than artificial. Try to place your desk or working area by windows or areas of as much natural light as possible.
Make sure you’ve got all the equipment you need
There’s nothing worse than suddenly realising that your printer has run out of ink just when you really need to print and important document.
It sounds obvious, but radio and TV is likely to be a distraction. Whilst having the radio on can be welcome company for some, for others it can become a distraction. Putting the TV on may make you think you’re concentrating, but the reality is that you won’t be.
Take regular exercise to prevent cabin fever!
We’re all told how beneficial it is to get regular exercise but it’s easy to forget to do it when you’re sleeping, working and living in the same place.
Taking regular exercise when working from home gets you away from your screen and the telephone and gives you a change of scenery. Try and plan it into your lunch time, even if you only walk for 10 minutes.
Plan days in the real office (if possible)
You’re human and humans need interaction with other humans. Working from home can be a very solitary lifestyle, especially if you don’t have many friends or family around. Planning days in the office are a good way to keep up with the gossip in the office and can help you to keep on top of what’s happening in the company.