(Family Features)–The regular work-at-home, non-self-employed population has grown by 115 percent since 2005, according to research from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com. That translates to 3.7 million employees working from home at least half the time, while 40 percent more U.S. employers offer flexible workplace options compared to five years ago.
The benefits working from home offers are indisputable, but those often come at a cost when you find it difficult to turn off the clock and stop working.
Developing an organized work-at-home routine and creating an efficient work space to facilitate productivity is a must for those who telecommute. Consider applying these tips to assist you in becoming a productive, well-balanced and focused work-at-home professional.
1. Choose a dedicated, efficient work space where you go specifically to get in the right frame of mind for the work day.
2. Choose electronic and physical boundaries. Don’t let office work spill out of the work space and resist the temptation to answer work emails during your personal time.
3. Be proactive and use technology to stay connected. There are many project management and collaboration options available that you can access via websites, apps or both. When it comes to meetings, there are also a number of services available to facilitate high-quality connections so you feel like you’re across the table rather than across the city or even country.
4. Make your work space a place you enjoy and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Don’t forget, it’s important to keep your space organized for better productivity.
5. Don’t always stay at home. For a refreshing change of pace, find a Wi-Fi-enabled establishment and work from there on occasion. The change of scenery can provide a fresh perspective and minimize the sense of social isolation some telecommuters feel from time to time.
6. Set work schedules and time parameters then adhere to them. When your office is at home, it’s easy to fall into a habit of jumping on the computer to handle one quick project or answer a simple email, but it’s easy to let that practice evolve into a 24/7 work schedule. Draw a clear line to ensure working from home doesn’t mean your home life suffers.
7. Take breaks. Get up, clear your mind and stretch so you can return to your work space refreshed and energized for greater productivity.
It’s true that working from home brings plenty of advantages, but working from home also requires discipline. Maintaining a clean and organized workspace, keeping in touch and limiting distractions allows those who work from home the opportunity to be as successful as their in-office counterparts.