If you ever work from home or plan to, there are many things you need to consider to make sure your home office is conducive to productivity.
From preventing technological snafus to dealing with the social realities of working where you live, preparing yourself for the home office experience is important:
Working from home provides flexibility and work-life balance. But the flip side of the coin is a risk of distraction.
Stay on task by planning your day in the morning, setting strict working hours, and sticking to the rules you create — such as no television or personal calls during the day.
Make sure your family and friends know that working from home is not synonymous with an extended vacation.
Protect Your Work
When you work in a central office, you rely on your company’s tech support team to protect your work and data. But when you work from home, you may not have that luxury. Over half of all small business owners have had to redo work due to a lost or deleted file, according to a research study conducted by Carbonite, a provider of automatic data backup. Be sure your work is not in vain.
Protecting your work against data loss can be a challenge. And while many home-based workers and small business owners are concerned about data loss, most aren’t taking full advantage of what is known as cloud computing. These days, you can back up all of your data securely on the Internet so you are covered if your personal computer goes down.
New technology is making data protection an easy, affordable investment. For example, Carbonite offers cloud backup solutions that are robust enough for a medium-sized business and affordable for even very small ones.
Because it backs up computer files automatically, you can set it and forget it, so you can concentrate on your bottom line. And if your work keeps you on the go, you’ll have access to your backed up data from any computer, smartphone or internet-connected device.
Many people dream of working from home to avoid long commutes, co-worker distractions and other office pitfalls, but once they start, they realize that it can be a lonesome prospect.
You can combat work-from-home loneliness with a bit of structure, however.
Make full use of your lunch hour by using the time to run errands, have a lunch date with a friend, hit the gym or otherwise break up the day with conversation and interaction. Also, don’t be shy about picking up the phone or using Skype to touch base with colleagues, versus sending an email.
While you may not be dealing with traffic jams and chatty cubicle neighbors, working from home comes with its own set of challenges.
Preparing for them can make the experience more productive, happy and fulfilling.