Six Tips for Being a Successful At-home Worker

Whether you’re taking advantage of your employer’s remote worker policy, or you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer establishing a home office, it’s important to establish habits early that can help ensure your success.

1. Establish your workspace

Having a place to “clock in” and “clock out” every day can help you set healthy boundaries between your work time and your personal time. Create a designated “spot” that will be your work area every day. This can help you mentally focus on your work and keep out household distractions. If you need to break out of “the office” every once and a while, schedule a workday at your local coffee shop, library, or even a park. A change of scenery might just help jumpstart your creative juices.

2. Stick to a schedule

We tend to be creatures of habit, that’s why it’s important to start good work-from-home habits from the beginning. Whatever goals you’ve set for yourself that day, tackle those first while your mental and physical energy is still fresh. Take at least a 5-minute break at the top of each hour (yes it’s okay to throw in a load of laundry) to focus on something else and come back to your work with a fresh perspective. Schedule a lunch hour. Take a walk or do some other light exercise to help get you away from your desk and clear your mind. Stay focused on your goals, but schedule in time to answer emails and phone calls. Of course, there may be deadlines or special requests that force us to break from our routine but establishing a schedule and sticking to it can help keep you focused on your work.

3. Set reasonable expectations

At home workers might have one of two challenges –not being able to focus on work while at home, or not knowing when to stop working. The solution to both problems will be setting daily goals and sticking to them. At the end of each day write down your goals for the following morning –one to three things that you absolutely want to accomplish. When you log-on the next morning you already know where to start. Once they’re done, you know you’ve had a successful day. If you have time to tackle more, great, but make sure you log off at the end of the day and give yourself time to enjoy your off-work hours as well.

4. Don’t avoid mundane tasks

Every job involves a certain amount of rote tasks that have to be dealt with. That could be returning phone calls, answering emails, filing paper or electronic documents, reading through reports or case studies, and even running errands. It’s easy to get distracted by these tasks and allow them to take time away from meeting your goals. Try “bundling” these tasks together by scheduling an hour or two each day to address these needs and then allow yourself to refocus on your goals.

5. Stay focused on the job

Whether you’re working from home or in the office, it’s easy for all of us to be distracted by our easy accessibility to media and technology devices. When you’re working from home you have the added distraction of having your favorite things around you. To help reduce these temptations:

  • Leave your phone in another room (or a desk drawer)
  • Don’t keep extra tabs open on your computer
  • Don’t listen to music with lyrics or podcasts if you need to concentrate on your own creative task
  • Avoid or limit snacking
  • Don’t check social media
  • Avoid turning on the TV or video game console during work hours.

Sticking to these guidelines can help you avoid wasting time and keep your days productive.

6. Know When to Logoff

You’ll be tempted to do “one more thing” before logging off at night,but learning how to end your workday on time is just as important as starting it on time. Establishing an end-of-the-day routine can help. Check and answer any outstanding emails, create your to-do list for the next day, clean up your desk, and power down your computer so you’re not tempted to log back on to “check in” on things. Respect your personal time the same way you respect your work time and know that everything can wait until the next day.

If you have questions about how to protect yourself with business insurance, we’re happy to help. Call or contact Sea Mountain Insurance today.

Six Tips for Being a Successful At-home Worker