6 Best Practices for Working From Home

I run my own business as a marketing writer and project manager. So my office is nestled inside my living room where I have a sunny, south-facing view of a hillside, often frequented by Bambi and a few of his friends.

Not a bad place to work.

My commute? Less than 15 seconds. Occasionally I toss my laptop in the car and work onsite with a client. But not often. An introvert by nature, I don’t mind the quiet time, and my two cats are quite delighted to have me around.

Working from home is not for everyone. And those who do will admit that it comes with its own unique set of challenges. Nevertheless, it works for me— at least for now.

Here is a list of six things you need to keep in mind to make working from home a success.

Every morning, sit down and write up your list of things to do — and stick to it. Click To Tweet

1. Create a Daily Work Schedule

Every morning, sit down and write up your list of things to do — and stick to it. This way, it won’t matter how many times you’re interrupted or get distracted. As long as you check off each item by day’s end. to work from home on a regular basis, you must be well-organized, have time management skills and be a self-starter. Not everyone is hardwired that way. Be honest with yourself before you take the leap.

2. Create a workspace

Whether you have a dedicated office or a small table for your work, make sure that this zone is for work only. For one thing, you’ll be able to deduct it from your taxes this way. Plus it will help you psychologically by placing you and your mind in a legitimate work zone.

Pick a spot that’s away from most of the commotion in the house, and has all the proper necessities, such as lighting, electrical outlets, and enough space to keep your files, printer, computer, stapler, coffee cup, etc.

3. Get technical

I can tell you from experience, help is not always on the way. Sigh. So that means you have to keep on top of the technology. If you’re struggling with a particular software program, take a tutorial online or a community college course. If you’re stuck somewhere, ask questions online, or at Best Buys or Apple’s Genius bar. Do you need to share documents with your client? If so, you’ll want to upload your work to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or Google Drive. And if you need to give presentations, you should get conversant with Web-based meeting programs. Some are free, some aren’t.

4. Get dressed

Believe me, it’s so tempting to stay in your pajamas all day. But you’ll find that keeping a regular routine will make you more productive and feel more professional. So that means into the shower you go and trade the P.J.s in for some casual, yet daytime, attire.

5. Get out of the house

With the ease of online shopping, grocery delivery, food delivery, and even services to stop by and walk your dog, it can become pretty easy to stay home all day. But don’t; make a point to leave the house at least once a day. Take a short walk around the block, go pick up some supplies from Staples, or meet a colleague for lunch. Leaving your house helps keep you sane, and separates your work time from your personal time.

6. Stay in touch with other humans

Even a bona fide introvert like me understands that too much isolation is a definite “no-no.” Not good for the head, and not good for business. There’s just so much more nuance you can develop with associates, clients, and colleagues on the phone and in person. Plus it never hurts to brush up on your people skills. Push yourself to get out of the house, and squeeze in an out-of-the-office lunch, or coffee with colleagues and bosses. At the very least, every so often, make a phone call instead of shooting off an email or a text. It doesn’t take much time and it helps build camaraderie and make you feel more connected to the world.

It doesn’t take much time and it helps build camaraderie and make you feel more connected to the world.

Do you work from home? Share some of your great tips for success in the comments section below!