When the office is at home, you risk that productivity goes out the window. We share the formula to keep you focused.
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
More and more entrepreneurs are working outside companies. Maybe they have an “office” at home, they work in a shared space or in a cafeteria. Fortunately, technology allows everyone, even entrepreneurs who need a traditional office, to benefit from the flexibility of working from home when necessary.
Anyone who works at home will tell you that it has its benefits, but also its challenges. When I started my business in 1998, social networks did not exist, I had no clients and most of my friends were in an office.
After working for a large hotel for six years, I had become accustomed to being surrounded by people every day. Working from home gave me some peace and quiet, but I was still alone. I didn't interact with anyone except my dog. There were no people around me to share ideas. I worked long hours, many in my pajamas. No one was there to review my work and had forced me to get up at a certain time each morning to have discipline.
After a while I had a regular one, I joined several networking groups and adopted certain practices. Here are some tips that will help you be focused on your work during the day.
1. Have an office schedule. Many people who work from home do not rest. Others struggle to have a regular schedule – they prefer to work a few hours during the day and the next day not sleep all night. Some interruptions cannot be avoided and the delivery date of a client may require some extra hours.
Let's not forget family obligations, especially if children are at home during the day. Do your best to have working hours and keep an eye on that schedule. Then try to leave work in the “office” and turn off your phone or put it in silence for the rest of the day. Give yourself some time to recharge batteries and be more productive.
2. Plan and structure your business day. Structure your day to maximize efficiency. Take advantage of your body's natural rhythms and plan your work around your most productive hours. If you know that you focus better in the mornings, resist the temptation to check your mail until 10:00 am or later. A quick review of your calendar when you start working can give you a more productive day.
Make a list of the most important tasks before you continue doing what is less urgent. If possible, close the door of your office (if you have one) to let others see that you are working and do not want to be.
3. Dress to impress (even just the dog). Although it is very tempting to stay in pajamas all day, this is not the best work habit. The way you dress affects you psychologically. Take the time to bathe, have breakfast, brush your teeth and dress to feel more confident. If you have a casual attire (not fabulous) to work, wear it even though the office is in your home.
4. Set aside a designated place to work. Consistency is an important aspect to work from home. Try to do things in the same place every day. It can be an empty room that you turned into an office, a desk that is in the corner of the room or even the dining room table.
Make sure it is an efficient place for you or your business and style. Surround yourself with things that inspire you and make you happy like flowers, music and paintings. Make your place where you like to be every day and work better.
5. Take breaks. Set aside time for breaks throughout the day. Get up from your desk, stretch or walk around the house or on the street. Take a break to eat and enjoy a good menu. If you need some time to socialize, go out to eat something with friends or customers. An advantage of working from home is having flexibility. If health is important to you, a quick trip to the gym can fill you up and make you have a productive afternoon.
6. Avoid distractions. A challenge of working from home is accountability. If you don't have colleagues or partners around you, it's easy to get distracted. There are always things to do at home. Do your best to pause them like the washing machine or dirty dishes until you go home in the afternoon. Put an alarm on your cell phone or computer. Do not waste time on or activities that are counterproductive to your success.