Articles

5 Ways To Make Your Workspace More Productive

Working from your home’s comfort is one of the luxuries that the modern technology brings. Whether one is working at home because he has a flexible boss who lets him save on transport cost and time, is working for himself, or has creative project or paperwork to do, working at home has its own challenges. With good organizing strategies and careful pre-planning, one can enjoy the best of both worlds: a productive work environment in his home’s comfort. With these five tips, hacks and tricks, however, one can really improve his productivity.

Set up an efficient workspace

When one is operating at a desk in his family room, a shared artistic studio for scrapbooking, a dedicated home office, simple strategies can make his physical work setting more productive than before. He should make sure that he has all the tools and equipment needed to do the job. Below is a list of basic tools one may require to get his work done effectively: computer, printer, telephone, printer, scissors, tape dispenser, stapler, internet access, out-box, inbox, paper clips, adequate work space, reference materials, good lighting, and a comfortable chair. Besides, a productive workspace includes completed work, enough storage for works-in-progress, and reference materials such as the dictionary, magazines and books. One should also make sure that his space has project basket, book shelves or file cabinets. It is important one to jot down the essential equipment and tools he requires to make his home office more productive.

Reduce distraction

Home environment is full of interruptions and distractions. These distractions can cause a real productivity sapper. The research study conducted by the Michigan University in 2001 shows that productivity of a worker decreases by 20%-40% due to “task switching”. Interruptions and distractions can make one switch tasks midstream, dramatically reducing his productivity. Therefore, it is important that one identify the sources of interruption and solutions to reduce them. To achieve this, one has to isolate himself and focus on his work. He needs to have a dedicated office door, a physical block between his work area and his family or relaxation or other life zones. However, if one’s workspace isn’t a busy one, a door may not solve the issue. One needs to be more creative. He needs to remove all the materials that distract him. Ideally, he only needs to see the work he wants to carry out rather than other things that require his attention. For instance, if one can see a jumbled home, laundry that requires tending to, a notification icon, or the latest Domino Magazine sitting on his desk…… he is inviting distraction.

One should do everything possible to block-off these visual disturbances by adding a folding screen or curtain to separate his work zone from other areas. Or he can position his desk so that he can only see work “stuff” when working. He should consider using closed storage systems to keep personal projects and business projects separate. The office desk should be clear of personal hobbies or projects that may tug one a way from the work in progress. One should be a ware of sounds that can lure him away from work, for example, ringing phones, the buzz of a dryer or washing machine, or the ding of a new email in the inbox. Therefore, one should turn off the dryer, phone and email notification until he is done with the job.

Set boundaries

Working at home allows one to use his time as it suits him. If one is a night owl, he can operate at night. If he is sluggish in the afternoon, he can catch a few ??z’s and recharge for an animated late afternoon session. However, it is essential when one work at home, he needs to carve out time for every area of his life. Due to the expediency of a home office, the lines can often get blurred causing one to never engage fully in either area of his life. One should chart his time and allocate specific time blocks to various areas of his life. One can accomplish all these by making a list of hours he is awake and then allocate his time to the various activities and areas of his life including family time and parenting, business and career, recreation and hobbies, personal growth and development, health and fitness, finances, recurring task such as grocery shopping and errands, spiritual development and community involvement.

When one puts together his time chart, he needs to think about his natural moods and energy levels. If he is very creative in the morning, it makes a lot of sense to schedule his creative tasks in the morning. If he is sluggish in the afternoon, he should schedule exercise or fitness during that time to serve as a natural stimulant. One should also decide which hours of the day and days of the week he will answer business telephone. The main objective is to establish lines between relaxation time and work time.

Get dressed just like an ordinary office worker

Working in pajamas can turn into a counterproductive adversity and major productive killer. When one gets up in the morning, he should take a shower, get dressed just like an ordinary office worker. Getting dressed the same as an ordinary office worker will him focused, more one task and more ready for the day.

Make it brighter

One should take a look at his home office and ask himself whether the lighting in his home office is bright enough to feel aggravated and excited for the day and if it looks like a normal office. Dime light can make one feel fatigued, discouraged and less productive at the long run.

Read More…

Articles

5 Reasons Why Working From Home Might Be Right For You

In today’s age of technology, some jobs can easily be done from home. This helps both the company and the employee. The companies save a ton of money on building rent and maintenance. This is a large amount of money which they don’t need to arrange for if the employees they have are working on virtual basis. They also don’t have to worry about the cost of computers, phones, desks, chairs, internet service, phone service, among other costs of keeping a business running. Due to such costs, it is no wonder that today’s businesses are turning towards the virtual environment. Apart from being beneficial for a business, working from home is also highly beneficial for an employee. Here are 5 reasons why working from home makes perfect sense for a hardworking person:

1. Working from home means unlimited comfort

Can you imagine working from home? You could stay in your pajamas all day. During your break you could go out on your patio and sip a nice warm cup of coffee. When you close your eyes, you feel the sun on your face. In addition to that, home workplaces are definitely more comfortable. You are able to shift positions, sit on the couch and throw your legs up, take a stroll and otherwise do whatever works for you. According to a research, sitting for more than six hours in a day day makes you 40 percent more likely to die within fifteen years than somebody who sits for less than three hours. Sitting is killing us, literally. Our bodies are not designed to sit for eight hours a day. When you work from your home, sitting is never a compulsion.

2.You will save a considerable amount of money

There are many reasons why people like to work from home. I am sure you can list many right off the top of your head. If you work from home you will save money on fuel for your vehicle, and if you travel many miles to get to work this could be a savings of several hundreds of dollars throughout the year. No longer you will have to eat at expensive restaurants that are close to your workplace. You can eat whatever is there at your home, which means you will save money on food.

You can save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a year by not having to buy office clothing.You can wear your pajamas to work every day. It doesn’t matter. None of the customers or clients can see your clothing.

Not only will you save money on fuel, but you will save the money spent to keep your car maintained and running. You won’t have to worry about your car breaking down while driving to work or getting into an accident.

3. You are allowed to spend more time with family

You will be able to spend more time with your family, since you work from home. The time that it takes you to drive to and from work is now yours to spend with your family, or do whatever you want with. You will be at home and if you are like most people you are most comfortable at home.

Your family comes home and you are refreshed and happy. You all can sit down together for a meal. You can hear about your son’s day, how he got an A for his Science project. What about you? You feel very grateful that your job allows you to spend this much time with your family. You go to bed happy. If you are not like those want to get involved in the gossips, then working from home may be a good opportunity for you.

4.Flexible working hours and a feeling of commitment and content

Some individuals rise early, while some might want to stay up till late. While working from home doesn’t mean you are able to entirely ignore your company’s schedule, it will provide you with additional flexibility to work the way you want to work. Would like to get up early in the morning? Go on. Have a break at 3 p.m.? No one is watching. You could actually spend time with the family earlier in the night; since you don’t have to commute.

You normally have more control over your schedule. Many people who work from home choose their working hours. They might choose to work early in the morning or late at night when their kids are asleep.

Working from home, you can easily find more time for yourself. This allows you to actually enjoy the money you make. People commuting for hours on daily basis don’t have enough time to enjoy the luxuries their money has arranged for them.

5.Better creativity and focus

We hang out more with our colleagues than we do with people we love. So, unless you really like your co-workers, it’s essential to have enough time apart. Working from your home restores balance. Giving space to yourself in order to contemplate and restore your work motivations and intentions is never bad.

Working from home also allows you to be more creative. Being around pets, greenery and all kinds of positive things that aren’t a part of a cold and traditional office setting does wonders for your creativity. A change of pace often allows you to be more creative. You are able to take your pc outside, have the walls of your workplace filled with music, or step off to meditate. This helps you carry a fresh perspective towards work the next day.

Conclusion

I know you are very excited with this opportunity to work from home but there are a few things that I need to address before you make that decision to take the plunge. Most people think that working from home is a perfect job and that you don’t have to “work” hard. I want to clear this up: any job you get that allows you to work from home is still a job and you will need to work hard. You will work just as hard at home as you do at any other traditional office setting.

 

Read More…

Articles

Top Time Management Tips When Working from Home

Working from home has its benefits such as saving money and more people are opting for it over office jobs. Despite these benefits, many people working from home have found it to be more challenging than expected. It is not easy to maintain productivity when there are kids in the house, pets playing around and friends stopping by unannounced. Even more difficult is being self disciplined enough to follow a strict timetable without letting anything get in the way. In fact this is the biggest obstacle people face when working from home.

It may be difficult, but it is not impossible to manage time when working from home. All you need to do is understand your situation and then come up with a time management plan that fits your work and environment. Below are several time management tips that should be of great help in achieving maximum productivity when working from home. 

1. Write down a plan
One of the worst things you can do as a work at home person, is to work without a well defined plan. It becomes easier to get your mind distracted from your work and onto other things. A plan should include a timeline for your whole day including when you wake up, when you start working, time and length of breaks and when you stop working. This helps you set a routine where every activity has its own time and does not interfere with work. 

2. Let your family know of your plan
If you are all alone during your working hours, family distractions are not a problem. But let’s say you have kids and a spouse. They need to know your plan. Let them know that you are only available for a certain amount of time in the morning before you start work, when your breaks are and the time at which work stops. They should not disturb you unless it is an emergency. 

3. Be creative with your schedule
It can be quite difficult to work during the usual daytime hours. This is especially so with a family around. The trick is to get creative with your scheduling. For instance if your kids wake up at seven o’clock, you can get up earlier to check and reply work emails. If the kids are around in the afternoon, make sure that you make full use of morning hours. 

4. Get rid of all distractions
There’s a reason why people working from home are advised to get a home office. Working in the kitchen or living room can be very distracting. Your mind is never settled due to the environment you are in and as a result your work suffers. A dedicated home office creates a professional environment in which you can focus on your work without letting anything get in the way. You can even get a work computer and put your personal laptop full of games and pictures away.

5. Give yourself some breaks
Just because there isn’t a mandated break like in an office don’t fail to take one. Your mind needs some rest so that you can maintain your productivity. At midmorning, a few minutes away from your office will do you some good. For lunch, eat at in the kitchen or dining room and not at your work area. As evening approaches, everyone needs some time to reenergize. This is the time to take a short walk to clear your mind. 

6. Have a defined end to the work day
If you wrote in your schedule that you stop working at 4 o’clock in the evening, then by all means maintain this timeline. Some people tend to work way into the night. This will just tire you out and interfere with the next day’s schedule. Once work ends, put away all work materials and shut off your work cell phone and computer. This also ensures that work doesn’t interfere with your personal life. 

7. Have a time sheet
Record the number of hours you work each day including any breaks taken. This will help you keep track of your productivity and make any improvements if necessary. 

8. Be internet-disciplined
For those who work on the internet such as blogging, the internet itself can be a source of distraction. Things like social media and online games can be very damaging to your productivity. When you sit down to work, have the discipline to avoid sites that are not related to your work. Even a few minutes socializing online can leave you distracted for the next hour meaning that you become unable to work properly. 

9. Productivity apps
Some productivity apps for your computer or Smartphone can also help in time management. These apps will help you keep track of your schedule including meetings, calls and events. Some apps even help you send texts faster while others act as personal assistants. 

10. Identify your biggest challenge in time management and work on it
What are the major obstacles that you face in managing your time? Is it your kids, the internet, television or friends? Once you determine the challenges that you are facing, you can then have a plan to work around them. If it is television, you can get rid of it. If it is kids, let them know when they can play with you. Everyone faces their own unique challenges and it is up to you to discover those obstacles and overcome them. 

Finally, don’t forget that every great effort deserves an equally great reward. At the end of the week when you have achieved your time management goals, do not fail to reward yourself. A weekend break away from your work is a good idea. Maybe even go to the spa or buy yourself something you have always wanted. 

Once you are able to manage your time, working from home becomes every bit as good as people say it is. In fact, being your own time manager makes you better at time management since you know that at the end, you are responsible for the results. Work becomes fun and most importantly, it becomes more productive. You also get to attain the perfect balance between work and personal life.

Read More…