The idea of working from home is one that is desired by many of us due to its numerous benefits which includes independence, reduced commute time and the ability to spend more time around loved ones to name a few. Working from home is an idea that is commonly associated with freelancers for example those providing translation services. It is a very common occurrence when translators receive work form a translation agency that they work from home as such projects often require individual attention with limited interaction with others. Although that is the case some companies still require their freelance workers to work from their offices for a number of reasons including the fact that the equipment used to perform certain work tasks are fixed at the place of work and on other occasions to monitor and ensure that the employee is performing set tasks in a timely manner.
In spite of the many benefits of working from home those that have had the privilege of doing so can testify that although this style of working has its challenges which can sometimes leave you demotivated and cause you to lose focus which can lead to non-completion of work.
So what can we do to overcome some of these obstacles faced when working from home? Below are 5 steps which can help you be more productive with your time.
1. Set boundaries – Very often people who work from home have a computer and chair in their bedrooms or simply use their dining area as work space. In places like London where house prices and rental rates are very high many of us do not have the luxury of an extra room to use as an office. This can pose a challenge at times especially when you are tired which can lead you to give up on work and just go for a nap easily, something you wouldn’t be able to do had you been working in an office environment. To combat this it can help to create a space within your home dedicated to you doing your work only. Treat this space as you would working in an office and only include items you need for work in this space to avoid distractions.
2. Ignore house chores – When working from home it is very easy to slip into doing your house chores during your working time. Things like forgetting to do your laundry the night before can lead you to use your work time to complete these tasks. The problem with that is once you begin to divert your attention away from work you tend to not be disciplined in other aspects, you find yourself tidying your room or hoovering your carpets and before you know it you’ve lost hours from you work time. Having a to-do list and structure your day around this will eliminate such occurrences. Try and stick to your set tasks as best you can and you sure will be more productive with your time.
3. Dedicate break times – Another challenge working from home is that you tend to take more breaks than if you were working with others in a place of work. It’s so easy to slip into the kitchen for a light snack here and there. Not saying don’t do it but dedicating break times/kitchen times will help you focus more on the task at hand. This one is hard to strictly follow but do it consistently for a few days and your productive time will increase.
4. Find an alternate work space – One thing about working from home is that you don’t necessarily have to be working at your home especially for jobs that are online-based. At times working from the same place constantly can limit creativity especially for people in professions such as creative writing. The beauty of technology these days allows us to work in several places as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection and laptop. Try working from your local Starbucks or visit your local park. Another alternative is to work from your local library. You’ll be amazed how much changing your work environment can be for your creative juices. Just remember to at least buy a coffee when you visit a coffee shop!
5. Don’t work too late – This is something that happens frequently. Often times it is a result of not managing your time accordingly. Postponing tasks is also a major negative contributor for people working too late. To conquer this ensure you stick to your daily set tasks. One tip is to conquer the tasks you do not particularly enjoy first as this will help you ease through the rest of your work load without dreading the tasks ahead. Set yourself work time and leisure time and try and stick to this as best as you can. It is sometimes inevitable that you will need to work late but if the task at hand is not necessarily urgent allow yourself to stop and switch off from work.
Working from home has its challenges but if you can discipline yourself following the above steps you will find yourself maintaining a positive work-life balance, have more time to relax and be more productive with your workload.
Have you worked from home? What are some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them? Share with us below.