For a Productive Workday, Follow These Home Office Do’s and Don’ts

In today’s wired world, more professionals are ditching the cubicle in favor of a home office. Working from home can be a dream come true, but only if you know how to manage it.

Here are some top tips for embracing the work at home lifestyle while avoiding some of the pitfalls.

1) Do Structure Your Time. That means setting a schedule.  Take it from real estate investor, Than Merrill: “You need to set a daily schedule”. A work from home schedule can be flexible around family obligations, but it also needs to be consistent with accomplishing your goals and making important contacts.

2) Do Pay Attention to Personal Grooming: Pajamas Are Not “Office Casual”. Ladies and men who “buff up” for each day and wear appropriate attire feel better about themselves. Plus, it projects the right image. You never know when a client or supervisor wants to hit you up on Skype for an impromptu meeting, as Heather R. Huhman advises in her Business Insider Article, http://www.businessinsider.com/10-dos-and-donts-of-working-from-home-2013-7

3) Do Get Your Family On Board: For working professionals with young children, this can be a challenge. Instead of scolding a child each time they interrupt a phone call, have a family meeting to explain that mom or dad is “at work” during certain hours. If both parents work from home, juggling a schedule that allows both partners time for their job is critical. Getting older siblings involved or hiring outside help for may be required.

4) Don’t Surf While Working: Unless the purpose is to cultivate contacts or promote your business, stay off social media. The boss may be all behind telecommuting, as long as she or he doesn’t see frequent non-work related Facebook status updates.

5) Don’t Work in the Family Room: No matter how good a person is at “tuning out” extraneous noise, having the TV blaring with the family bustling about is bound to interfere with concentration.

6) Personalize Your Work Area: The office can be as cozy as a little cupboard under the stairs, or as grand as a den with a view of the mountains, as long as it works. Display diplomas and awards. Don’t forget some personal comfort items but avoid clutter.

7) Take Breaks: When working from home, no one tells you when it’s time for lunch. Including some exercise in the midday break helps increase stamina and alertness.

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