When working from home it's easy to be distracted, so here at INKredible we have come up with some handy tips to keep you focused and productive.
1. Have a designated work space
It is all too easy to sit in front of the TV with your laptop when working from home. This probably isn't a great idea. When working from home, try and emulate your office environment as much as possible, as this will help you get out of 'home mode' and in to 'work mode'.
Change out of your pjs, have a coffee and work in your home office (or at the kitchen table if you don't have an office). Basically, stay away from the sofa.
2. Manage your time
Working from home doesn't mean you can't take breaks. If you would get up and make a round of drinks every couple of hours, allow yourself to do just that (but only make one drink, not five). Research shows that we need a bit of a break every few hours in order to stay focussed. Get up, have a wander round your house, maybe even go for a brief walk outside. Staying shut in your house all day, with no outside contact will not help you.
Making a to do list in order to keep your day flowing could also help you stay on track, as it is easy to get distracted by household tasks when sat in the kitchen, next to the washing machine. At the end of the day, take note of what you achieved and, if you don't seem to have been as productive as you could have been, consider what you need to do differently tomorrow.
3. Stay connected
When out of the office, it is important to stay connected. This means ensuring your mobile is charged, people have the appropriate contact information for you and your internet connection is up to scratch. Having a fast and reliable internet connection is essential – slow internet that repeatedly drops out will not only slow you down but will also make your boss less inclined to let you work from home again, as it makes you appear unreliable.
Check in regularly with colleagues and clients. This will help you stay on track with deadlines and also demonstrates that whilst you might be working from home, you are still working.
4. Ignore the landline
If you haven't given out your landline number to work people, ignore the home phone. The only people calling you on this phone in the middle of the day are, most likely, trying to sell you something. If it's important/not a sales call they will leave a message or call your mobile. Don't take time out of your busy day and get caught up with distracting, unnecessary calls.
5. Don't get distracted
This may seem like a really obvious one, but it happens easily. If you don't usually have music on in your office, don't have it on at home. The same goes for the TV – if you don't have a TV on at work (which we are assuming you don't) then leave it off. The TV and the radio will just distract you and we know all too well how easy it is to get sucked into an episode of Bargain Hunt.
6. Know when to stop
If you finish work at five, finish work at five. Make sure that your home life isn't affected by your working from home. At the end of the day, power off your computer and close the door to your office (or just put your laptop away and put some plates on the table so you're not tempted to start working again).