6 Tips for Work-at-Home Success

Working at home is no longer just a novelty reserved for niche jobs. Nearly every industry is conducive to some working at home. From 2005 to 2013, the number of people who work at home increased by 80 percent. Technology has made it possible for small business owners to grow their businesses more quickly, with less overhead, by being able to do some or all of their work at home.

Just like office life, working from home comes with its own set of challenges. There are different distractions and different obstacles to being efficient and turning in quality work. For those considering a work-at-home position, or still trying to strike the right balance, here are some tips to get it right.

Make a schedule. Running a business from home or even just working a normal job from a home office will come with flexibility. This is an awesome perk, but don’t rely on it so much that you procrastinate. Schedule the hours when you will work, take breaks and be completely “off the clock.” Stick with it as close as possible in order to get your work completed and feel like you still have some time left at the end of the work day for yourself.

Designate your space. Find a spot in your home that is your work space. If you don’t have an entire office, opt for a corner with a desk in it. Keep all of your business documents there, and sit there when you work. It’s okay to occasionally sit on the couch (hey, it’s a perk of being at home) but having a location to be in work mode is good for your productivity.

Get ready. Wake up on a schedule. Eat breakfast. Get dressed. Yes, you can technically work in your PJs if you want but setting up a routine before you start your work gets you off on an efficient and focused foot.

Get out. Leave the house at least once a day, even if it is just to take a brief walk around the block. Even if your job is based primarily at home, look for networking opportunities that take you outside the perimeters of your property. Working at home is convenient but should never completely replace in-person contact.

Take breaks. Schedule time to walk away from your work throughout the day, and definitely take any time off that is owed to you. If you own a small business and have no official vacation time, make it a point to take one every six months. That time off will make you feel rejuvenated and ready for the next big thing in your home-based business.

Know your limits. Working at home can put a damper on your non-professional life. When there are no physical boundaries between your professional life and your domestic one, you may feel like you are working all the time. Stick to your schedule, take breaks and recognize when it is time to call in some extra help. It is hard to walk away from your work but you need to in order to maintain a happy life outside your job.

How have you found success working at home?