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How Can I Work From Home Productively?

Updated on July 20, 2017
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella runs her business from home and has written several articles on working from home, home finance and entrepreneurial skills

A Stylish Home Office


Be Wary Of Distractions


Is Your Home Suitable?

Anyone can set up a home office if they have phone and internet access but it may not be a viable proposition for everyone and depends on the nature of your business.

Nowadays, largely due to the Internet, many folks are choosing to work from home and in recognition of this trend, architects of new-build properties often incorporate purpose-built offices into typical home designs. For existing buildings, converting the loft, digging out the basement or adding an extension to increase living and work areas can often create the office space you require. There are a wealth of home office ideas to inspire you to create the best possible work facilities in your home interior.

Or as an alternative why not have a purpose-built office unit attached to your home or even in the backyard? Thus you can separate yourself from the distractions working at home inevitably causes. You'll find it easier to stick to set working hours and maintain a semblance of order to your day. You don't have to spend all day in an unheated, tumble-down shed at the bottom of your garden - there are even innovative office pods widely available on both sides of the Atlantic.

Having a self-contained area for work will ensure that you're not 'mixing business with pleasure,' and encourages you to be as conscientious in your attitude to working from home as you'd be in the workplace.

Make your home office as pleasant and as stylish as possible which will reduce the temptation to venture elsewhere in the house. Listening to your favourite music while you work helps to enhance your mood and be productive. When the day's work is done you'll feel proud of maintaining your concentration and be pleased with your accomplishments knowing you've made the best use of your time.

Coffee Time!


Think Things Through Thoroughly

Before making any irrevocable decisions it would be worthwhile drawing up a list of the pros and cons of working from home.

There are many positive points.Travelling to and from your workplace will no longer take a huge chunk from your day and those who choose to work from home will also cut down on transportation costs and expensive lunches. However, there are certain drawbacks which need to be considered before making a definite decision. You may not be the type of person who is ideally suited to working from home and will need to assess whether you can successfully combine your home life with work commitments.

The key to working from home is discipline; you'll need to summon enough willpower in order to give structure to your day. At home, you'll find there are far more distractions than in the workplace and if you're not careful even well-meaning family members can prevent you from completing your tasks as swiftly and efficiently as you would have done elsewhere. You may even find your progress is hindered so dramatically that productivity is reduced and things take far longer than they ever did at your former workplace.Be aware of distractions such as children, pets, postmen etc which will interrupt your train of thought.

Problem number one is actually getting out of bed in the morning. You'll no longer have a train or bus to catch or a long drive to work but you still need to set your alarm clock and stick to a rigid routine throughout your working day.

Phone calls and parcel deliveries will no doubt interrupt you if you're halfway through a task. You'll have to learn to take this in your stride and continue on afterwards until you've made some headway. You may even have to turn away friends who call on the off-chance expecting you to be available just because you're at home. You'll need to be firm and impress upon them that you have vital tasks to perform.

Too many tea breaks and snacks may wreak havoc with your waistline so be certain to allow yourself time for exercise and stick to set times for lunch.

If you're the sort of person who can work alone rather than as part of a team, working from home may be ideal for you and you won't miss out on the social aspect of being part of a bustling office. Concentrating on your tasks may come easier to you in a quieter home environment where you can listen to the music you like or work in silence if you prefer.

The nature of your work will make a difference to how you plan your day. However, anyone considering working from home should take a tip from those who've had to work from home all along. People like authors, artists and musicians already know that the working day needs to be harmonised with their home life and not cause a conflict of interest.

Many Home Businesses Are Internet Based


Tried And Tested Tips

As someone who's worked from home for over fourteen years, it often takes time before you're completely happy with the structure of your day. Keeping to a sound routine is good practice but you don't have to become so set in your ways that you never allow yourself the flexibility to adapt to new ideas and make improvements and upgrades to your existing methods and equipment.

Home workers who sit at the computer for lengthy periods must ensure they take adequate exercise. Health practitioners recommend at least an hour's walk in the evening to compensate for sitting down at your desk all day. Eyestrain too, can be a problem when doing close work, so ensure you have regular eye exams and purchase the most suitable glasses if you need them. Correct lighting and office furniture that encourages good posture should also be an essential feature of your designated work area or home office.

Home workers have to be organised for their business to thrive so you'll soon find what works for you. Are you going to be alone all day or will there be others at home with you who can keep you supplied with cups of coffee and assist with household chores etc?

My business is largely Internet and phone based so it's something I can conduct from virtually anywhere. Apart from receiving documents through the post and referring to existing paperwork, I'm not really tied to one spot and can maintain a degree of flexibility. It depends on the type of business you run whether this will work for you or not. I address everything swiftly in order of priority and find this is the best way for my business to function. Don't let yourself build up piles of paperwork or forget to return calls. If the most important aspects are dealt with in the morning you can allow yourself some breathing space in the afternoon by going to the bank and the post office or to the shops to replenish office supplies.

Quality sleep the night before is the basis of a productive working day so don't over indulge in the evening with heavy meals and too much alcohol or you'll feel too sluggish to think clearly the following morning.

Have the correct place for all your files and business paraphernalia so they don't take forever to locate when you need to refer to them or provide duplicates to your business contacts. Organisation must be a word forever paramount in your vocabulary.

Be productive today... and tomorrow you will have made progress

— Stella Kaye

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© 2015 Stella Kaye


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