If you work from home full time you are part of a growing trend. An estimated 3.2 million people in the U.S. work at home, a number which has risen 79% since 2005. Employers appear to be warming up to the idea of telecommuting employees. Perhaps because a recent survey showed home-based employees worked an average of 9.5% longer and were 13% more productive.
Technology has improved connectivity between the home office, giving employees access to all the files and software they need to do their jobs remotely. Now instead of chatting over the water cooler you might find yourself on a google hang out or Skype call. But while working from home offers great flexibility, it doesn’t come without its problems. As a professional organizer I have helped many people overcome these issues and become more successful in their home office.
Too Many Distractions
If you are continually distracted by items on the home “to-do” list, kids, pets or TV, working at home could reduce your productivity. One solution is to find a designated space where you can shut out the distractions. A professional organizer can help you re-think your living space to carve out a private area that can work as your home office.
Work and Home Files Intertwined
If you’re trying to find space for work files amidst your tax files and mortgage statements, things are bound to get messy. Running a household requires its own set of paperwork, as does your job or business. Separating work and home files minimizes the time you spend searching for files or lost items, and allows you to feel in control.
You’re Always on the Clock
One common problem when you work at home is that work is always there. It’s very easy to keep on working, and working and working. However, this doesn’t bode well for your relationships or your health. Set a quitting time for yourself, and stick to it. You are likely to find that your productivity actually increases when you stop overworking yourself.
You Miss the Social Aspects of Work
Working at home can sometimes feel isolating but it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of any opportunity you have to meet with coworkers face-to-face. Join a networking group, plan to meet colleagues for breakfast or lunch; or sign up for a class. Use your calendar and plan ahead to find the social interaction you need to feel happy and fulfilled on the job.