Tips for Working from Home


If you are fortunate enough to work from home, make the most of it.

By Tracy Leigh Ritts

 

More and more people are making their daily commute easier by working from home. In today’s world of high-speed Internet, cell phones, and instant information, many jobs are moving from the workplace to the home office.

As appealing as working from home sounds, it comes with its own set of challenges. Many struggle with the transition, and the following tips will help set the stage for a happy home-based career:

  • Create a Dedicated Work Space. A dedicated work space is essential for work-at-home folks. While you might be able to “get by” with your laptop on the kitchen table, it is far from ideal. The best scenario is an extra room with a door (so you can close it!), but if that’s not possible, choose a spot (even a corner) that you can call your own.
  • Organization is Key. You’ll need the proper software for your computer, filing systems for all the paper, and whatever other office supplies you’ll use on a daily basis. Think about the type of work you’re doing and plan accordingly. Organization from the beginning will help keep you — and your work — on track.
  • Set Daily Working Hours. Sure, there’s definitely some flexibility when you work at home, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If your kids have a special program at school during the day, you can easily rearrange your schedule and attend — and that’s terrific! Regardless of these sorts of advantage, you will get more done if you follow a set amount of daily working hours on a regular basis.
  • Limit Distractions. Easier said than done sometimes, but try your best to limit possible distractions during your working hours. This means cluing friends and family into the fact that “you might be home, but you’re working.” As well-meaning as they are, they need to understand that you can’t chat for an hour or two on the phone just because you’re home. Nor can you be the mom who is “around” when the neighbor’s kids need a ride home from school.

Working at home can be a terrific way to add more flexibility to your life — plus save money on gas, lunches out, and other work-related expenses. By following the above tips, you’ll find the opportunity is smooth sailing!


Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. She’s the author of the book, How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands…Without Going Crazy.