How to Successfully Work from Home

Working from home or “telecommuting” has become more prevalent over the years as companies continue to recognize its value. With no geographic confines, companies are able to attract a larger pool of talent, retain employees by providing flexible scheduling, and save money on things like relocation expenses and utility bills. While most telecommuters enjoy this work- life balance, there are some challenges with working from home, which is why it’s so important to establish “rules” or guidelines for a symbiotic relationship between employee and employer.

Below are some tips for a successful work-from-home arrangement.

Eliminate distractions.

Children, pets and other family and friends must respect that during 9-5 you are working just as you would if you were on-site in an office building. This means children should either be in daycare or you should establish another method of childcare during your work hours.

The same goes for other family and friends. You wouldn't be taking multiple personal calls if your coworkers were sitting in a cubicle next to you. That should also apply as a telecommuter.

Be sure to draw a line with your pets, too. Just because you are home all day, doesn't mean you and your dog have an eight-hour play date. Keep your pets in an area that won’t distract you. That way, you’ll avoid the embarrassing dog bark while you’re on an important conference call with your client or boss.

And, while we’re talking about distractions, don't turn on the TV. By keeping your TV off, you’ll avoid the temptation of getting sucked into Dr. Phil or watching your favorite DVR’d shows when you're supposed to be working. Let's face it, daytime television isn't very good anyway.

Stay connected with colleagues.

Since you’re not able to see your coworkers face-to-face on a daily basis, it’s important to stay connected in other ways. Instant messaging, video conferencing, and phone calls are important for keeping the communication window open and nurturing your work relationships.

Take a lunch break.

It’s important to avoid falling into the workaholic trap. Be sure to manage your time as if you were working in an office. In other words, take the time to step away from your desk and grab some lunch.

Get out of the house.

You’re probably thinking, “Get out of the house? Isn't this article about working from home?” What we mean by getting out of the house is this: Working solo can be a bit lonely at times, so it’s important to continue to maintain some form of human contact. This can mean heading into town to meet your friends for lunch or happy hour, joining a professional organization, attending a networking event, or simply being around other people at the gym. The point is it is easy to become a hermit being at home all of the time, so make a concerted effort to get out of the house once in a while.

Don’t become a workaholic.

With your home as your office, the line between personal and professional can become blurred. It’s important to disconnect after the work day is over to enjoy some leisure and spend time with your family and friends. Relationships can suffer if your attention is always on work, so be sure to set boundaries so your work mode switch isn't always set to “on.”

There are many benefits to working from home.  As long as you’re able to focus on your work, manage your time, meet deadlines, and separate your work life from your home life, you’ll enjoy home office bliss!

Do you work from home and have advice on how to do so successfully? Share your tips in our comments section below!

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Comments

I've just started to work from home and it's fantastic, but sometimes I feel a little strange having not left the house all day

This is great information. The best part of this is being able to avoid distraction. This is a big takeaway for anyone working at home.

Great tips. Especially about distractions. I do work outside my home about 20 hours a week, and the rest is at home.

I have been working from home for almost 30 years. After raising 3 kids I'd say that more destruction comes from grand children, skype friends and good weather. Ahhh....good old times without Internet....

All good advice but especially the one about unplugging from work once 5 PM hits, too many homebased business owners work sporadically at random hours, its better to work hard from 10-4 than a few hours here and a few hours there into the night. For getting out of the house I'd recommend checking out a co-working space and going once or twice a week plus maybe work from a coffeeshop a couple days a week too.

Well, Ive basically have broken all of these tips, jeez, what have I become.

i keep an eye on Don’t become a workaholic & Eliminate distractions, it's very hard to control it. sometimes we need some extra time work at home even our job is done. let's say your staff call you to arrange meeting on thursday at same time we still playing with our children, how i can deny it ? sorry it's just my opinion and my real case. nowdays people become busy, busy & busy.

I am doing all our office work from home and in the beginning I had a really hard time with creating some kind of schedule or routine for myself. My work hours were all over the place! And it is very true that working from home can easily transform you into a workaholic: When your office is in the next room you can just go back to work after dinner and finish xyz... I would never do that if I had to drive back to the office!

Getting out of the house is probably the biggest one of all. I try to make as many off site meetings and lunches as I can. Also, just go for a walk. It's important.

As someone who works from home, I rely on telecommuting, or other conference call services in order to get my work completed. They are very affordable these days, and make like a lot easier.

One of the best ways to remove distractions is to set up an area of you home, no matter how small, that is dedicated solely to your work.

This is a great blog post. I've been working from home for over 5 years now. While I was in college, I worked with online advertising companies where I was paid to try different new innovative products. Later I started with my own Vbulletin Forums, followed by Blogs on Wordpress, free Job sites to help people find jobs and most recently, my own website design and internet marketing company. There's definitely many ways to work from home and I continue to explore my options.

I find that identifying your most productive time helps a lot. That time frame can get you to accomplish a lot of task. Great article.

The "Take a lunch break" really hits home with me. I'm one to not only not take breaks, but eat lunch at my desk. Sitting for long periods can really do a number on my back, so now I take breaks more often and have incorporated a standing desk into my work day as well. I think the more comfortable you are, the more productive you can be - and therefore the more more successful with a home-based business. Great article!

I currently work from home three days of the week as a property manager, and must admit it can be very difficult at times. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to designate a separate work space. You have to train your brain to associate that specific area with WORK WORK WORK! Your kitchen, living room and bedroom have already made the connection to relaxation and socialization.

I find that identifying your most productive time helps a lot. That time frame can get you to accomplish a lot of task. Great article.

Working from home has several advantages and few disadvantages. Working from home you need to be disciplined, create hours of work and stick to it. The disadvantage is more of a social problem in that you can isolate yourself and forget how to treat people in the real world.

Great tips on working from home! Most of the time if you work from home, you have to figure out a way to eliminate distractions. Great post!

I typically work from my home. I personally find that I get more accomplished at home than if I am in the office. You have to be disaplined as it is very easy to get distracted with daily household tasks. I sell real estate so if I am not out showing homes then a lot of my time is either on the computer or phone. I typically find that listing to the news or the radio in the background when I not on the phone helps me stay in the office.

I can't stress enough how getting out the house is important. If you do NOT do this, you will easily become a workaholic. Great article.

I've done many works as you mentioned in above post. glad to learn more from you.

I've done many of work online as you mentioned above and got successful always. Glad to learn more from you about doing online work from home.

Regards

Great Tips. I have 3 young children so there are always distractions - I wear ear plugs while I work :). I am also guilty of being a workaholic. Sometimes I feel guilty watching TV knowing I could be doing something else (since I work from home).

I enjoyed this list because I have recently started working from home. It was a really insightful list of things that you really would not think about until it is too late. I have learned that the getting out of the house is the most valuable one.
our blog

Great tips on working from home! Working from home you need to be disciplined, create hours of work and stick to it. This is a big takeaway for anyone working at home.

very good article, very inspiring, keep working .. thanks for the information. Rarely websites that provide good information like this.

I am able to make good amount on money from working from home. If you understand how the things work you can definitely do big.

In terms of networking with colleagues, I'd add that joining a LinkedIn group in your field will not only help you stay on top of what's happening in your field, but it will also help you network with people you wouldn't have otherwise met.

Another suggestion: find 3-5 influencers in your industry, and build a relationship with them, either through their blog, Twitter, or LinkedIn. It's a great way to expand your horizons - and also doesn't hurt when it you're a jobhunting (or a freelancer).

Been following these tips for some time and they are really effective, especially the "Eliminate distractions." part. Thanks for such a good read! :)

Well another valueble infirmation. I like this article. When we free at home we can use our time with work. Helpful Guide keep it

"Get out of the house." This is what some of us really forget when we work from home.
We all need fresh air to get the creative juice flowing.
Great article!!

Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one!
It's on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design.

Great choice of colors!

Now i have learn more ways to work under pressure from home, most times when am fed up, i just burst into bed and sleep off but it doesn't, reduce my work load, but now i think i know how to handle it, this is one of the reasons i always love ncu blogs, very educative.

Working from home can definitely be a challenge. There are so many distractions that can cut into productivity. Eliminating those distractions by having a separate home office is a must. Establishing clear rules with your family is helpful. ie "no interruptions during business hours"

Working at home gives you a flexible time. I am also a telecommuter and I love it!

Working from home and online is best option for housewives to help their life partner and for their children. By spending time at home a women can teach well their children and could earn a decent income for happy living.

I work from home too and have two kids. It is really hard to work when they are at home:(

I work at home too and have two kids. It is really hard to work when they are at home.