If you’re like most people, you’ll love working from home. However, it definitely makes a change from traditional office work. As long as you are prepared and have the right mind set, you’ll be able to see the benefits right away.
Of course some of the benefits are pretty tangible. Work from home statistics say that people who telecommute save an average of $4,000 per year on costs related to commuting, dry cleaning, and lunches with colleagues. Other advantages are more esoteric, like less stress (which might also be a reflection of losing your commute), more time to get things done, and a better work life balance.
Companies also love when they can encourage work from home scheduling. It saves them money on real estate, utilities and other aspects of office life (like all that free coffee). In addition, remote work gives companies better workforce retention and promotes productivity.
If you are just starting out telecommuting, there are a number of excellent tips that remote workers can tell you to help make your work from home life easier.
Create your work space
When telecommuting, you want to have a dedicated area that is just for your work. This means avoiding doing your projects on the couch, in bed, or at the dinner table. If getting a real space means leaving your house, you may want to consider a coworking situation. These virtual offices are relatively inexpensive and can give you some of the benefits of a traditional office, even if it’s just for a couple of days, a week, or month.
Treat it like work
Try to get up and get dressed everyday just like you would for a traditional office. It allows you to focus more effectively, and that way you’ll always be ready in case you have to video chat with your boss on a moment’s notice.
Make it a no distraction zone
The myth of multitasking has made everyone try to do everything at once. But the truth is that trying to do more than one thing at a time lowers your productivity. Ways to combat distraction might be to invest in noise cancelling headphones, getting apps that limit your social media use, or making sure you stop those push notifications that always seem to lead you somewhere other than your work.
Give yourself a break
When working from home it’s even more recommended that you follow a specific schedule. In particular, the suggestion is to take a real break from work. Take a full lunch hour, and get up from your desk to stretch every couple of hours at least. You’ll feel better and be able to focus more.
Organize your time
Working within “time blocks” is a great way to keep on task. Make specific hours for answering emails and doing projects, and you’ll find that you get things done more easily.
Don’t get lonely
Over 20% of telecommuters site feelings of isolation as their number one remote work difficulty. Get ahead of the problem by being an active social butterfly. Set up times for face to face interactions with humans, like your friends and family. Join book clubs, quizzo, or sports teams. You can even make sure you see your coworkers every once in a while with work or non-work related meetups. If that’s not possible, try to make your meetings video chats rather than just on the phone.
Don’t forget to thrive
Another potential detriment to working from home is that it can lead to complacency. Remember to always try to connect to the next big thing on the frontier of your work, and keep gunning for promotions and finding new angles to your profession.
Get out and network
Working from home is a lifestyle and there is a huge community to join up with. Try to connect with others that work from home and seek out tips and tricks they have for being more productive or getting more out of their home offices.
There’s little doubt that you’ll enjoy the experience of working from home, but tips like these will make the transition from traditional office to working from home a breeze.
Sarah is a Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media and Your Best Digs who works remotely while traveling. She’s passionate about developing high-quality content for diverse industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. When she’s not creating content, she’s likely hiking a new trail or mapping out the next destination.