How many times have you heard someone speak longingly about working from home? Maybe you've had those fantasies yourself - staying in your pajamas all day, having no commute, no one watching over your shoulder... However, those of us who are lucky enough to work from home understand that it's not always as easy as it sounds. Working from home takes a great deal of determination and discipline, but fortunately, it can be done effectively!
Get dressed. While many people harbor fantasies of working in their pajamas or bathrobe all day, the truth is that it is a rare person who can actually get work done in that state. Most of us need our heads to be in "work mode," and one of the quickest ways to get there is to get dressed before you work, shoes and all.
Get organized. If you are going to work from home, it is very helpful to have a real home office and not just try to work around your existing setup. Make sure you have a desk and that that desk has room to work. You will be much more productive if your desk is not a total mess.
Set your work hours. Along with the temptation to work in your pajamas, there is a great temptation to sleep in. After all, you can set your own work hours, right? The obvious problem with this is that it is really easy to procrastinate. It's important to set your work hours -- whatever works for you -- and stick to them, no matter how strong the temptation to procrastinate is.
Be firm about your work hours. If you're going to work from home, you may have to let people know that you actually plan on working. Otherwise, you may find yourself overwhelmed with lunch invitations, requests for babysitting or picking up the dry cleaning, friends just stopping by, and the dog wanting a walk. Make sure that your friends and family alike know when your work hours are and that you need them to be respected. If all else fails, feel free to not answer the phone or the door.
Manage your people time. Many people who work from home find that they miss the casual relationship with others in the workplace. Some people find that working at a cafe reduces their loneliness while others need to schedule time with friends. Either way, make sure that you are getting enough time with other people for your own personal needs to be met.
Prioritize. It can be extremely freeing to not have a boss looking over your shoulder, but it can also lead to putting off unpleasant tasks. Make sure that you are prioritizing your work in the same way that you would be if you had a boss looking over your shoulder.
Although working from home requires discipline and initiative, it can also be relaxing and rewarding. If you make sure that you set yourself up for success and not failure, you will likely find working from home to be a very pleasant experience.