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6 Ways to make working at home work for you

Kirsty Tanner

I’m sure most of us have dreamt about working from home at one point or another. For many of us, it’s a life goal. It certainly was for me. I’m not talking about making a few dollars a day with online surveys or those ads that tell you you can make $10,000 a day from home if only you’ll buy their book. What I’m talking about is earning a standard living working remotely, from your own home instead of at the office.

Working from home is fantastic

The truth is, working from home really is awesome. I’m certainly not going to tell you it isn’t. That being said, it’s still work! Even if you’re one of the lucky ones like me with a full-time job working from home doing your dream job, it’s still not fun 100 percent of the time. I don’t jump out of bed looking forward to my day every morning. Yes, the grass is greener but the truth is working from home really isn’t for everyone.

Working from home isn’t for everyone

I believe the majority of people will actually be more productive in the traditional office environment. Most of us were brought up learning in a classroom, full of chatter and buzz. That’s how we learned to work as well, in a dedicated working space away from our relaxing living room. Almost everyone I know that takes home some of their work procrastinates more at home and gets easily distracted by the kitchen, the television, pets, their family and, of course, the call of doing anything else but work.

How to make it work

While some of us are more cut out for the work at home life than others, there are certain things we can all do to make working at home work for us. This is how I do it and you can too:

  1. Have a dedicated work space. This will help rid you of distractions when trying to get things done.
  2. Communicate with your team. Whether the rest of your team is in the office or they also work remotely, it’s vitally important to keep up communication, just like if you worked in the same office.
  3. Keep your home tidy. One of the biggest distractions when working from home is having a messy house that needs cleaning, as it will compete with work for top priority
  4. Free yourself of distraction. Make sure your family understands that when you’re working, you’re not available, just as if you were at the office
  5. Make sure your family and pets have their needs met before beginning the day. If not, you’ll be endlessly pestered, even with the rule above. (Pets won’t adhere to your rules, so you’ll have to be sure they are well exercised and fed prior to beginning your work day)
  6. Write down everything. You won’t have your colleagues and boss constantly looking over your shoulder and reminding you of your tasks, so make sure you know them well

How to keep the balance

Aside from knowing how to get your work done while at home, you’ll also find that keeping the balance between work and home life is harder as the lines blur between the two. Having a separate office space is helpful. It’s also a good idea to unplug at the end of the day and schedule in some quality family time. Although you’re home more often and your family gets to see more of you, they might not actually be spending any more real time with you than before, especially if you’re starting your own business and working longer hours.

It’s more important than ever when working from home to keep a good work/life balance. Before you begin your work-from-home life, set some ground rules for yourself, so you’re still present for your life and family.

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