Telecommuting or holding down a stay-at-home job comes with plenty of advantages. You don’t have to waste time on a long commute, you can live wherever you want, you get to use your own computer and equipment, the dress code is whatever you want, and you don’t have to rely on lukewarm sandwiches or vending machine food for lunch.
But there are also downsides. With your home internet connection at your fingertips, it can be hard to concentrate on the work you need to do. You also get less human contact when you’re in your home office than what you can get when you’re surrounded by your coworkers, and that can hurt your chances for advancement. When you work from home, you have to do things you might have taken for granted at an office, so it helps to set some hard limits on what you can do and when.
1. Set A Schedule
Chances are good that if you work from home, you have at least some control over your hours. That flexibility is a good thing, but you need to be responsible with your time or you’ll find yourself falling behind your deadlines or otherwise working when it’s inconvenient. So consider setting a hard schedule for yourself of work hours and off hours, times when you won’t let yourself get distracted by all the other things a home internet connection provides. It can be in the evening or while the kids are at school, but it’s important to be consistent.
2. Put In Some Face Time
Speaking to your coworkers and superiors through emails and voice chat will let you stay in touch, but if you really want to talk to someone it helps to be able to see their face. That’s why it’s good that video chat has become much easier and much faster in recent years: it’s still not quite the same as being in the same room with another person, but it’s a lot closer than the alternatives. This is one of the reasons why a gigabit connection through a fiber line is a good choice for a self-employed home internet connection.
3. Cut Yourself Off From Your Home
One way to make sure you focus on work is to create a physical space that’s separate from the rest of your home, a space that lets you concentrate on your job. That can mean converting a room into a home office that you don’t enter except to work (which is also a good way to get a tax break), putting on formal clothes so you have a reminder that you’re supposed to work, and making sure your family or roommates don’t interrupt you except for emergencies.
If you work from home, you need to keep yourself from wasting too much time on hobbies and distractions. So set hard limits for yourself and remember to keep in touch with your coworkers.