6 Habits of Success for the At-Home Worker

24 Jan, 2017 Personal Development

If you’re like 50% of the U.S. workforce, you’re able to work from home, at least some of the time.

If you’re lucky, you’re among the 20-25% who work from home frequently, and fall into the category of “at-home worker.”

Working from home certainly has its perks:

    • More control over your schedule
    • Save time and money on commuting
    • Greater flexibility in the case of a sick child or a snow day, if you have young kids
    • Enhanced productivity– if you play your cards right!

When I began my business, it was clear the best option for me was working from home.

It’s taken some adjustment and serious dedication, over the years, but I’ve found my groove and am making it work for me!

Whether you’ve been given the option to set-up a home office by your employer, are an entrepreneur or business owner or need to find more structure to your days, check out my successful habits for being an at-home worker.

1. No Snooze

When it’s time to wake up– wake up! Don’t get sucked into the snooze button trap with “just a few more minutes.”

Treat your workday start time, the same as if you were going to the office. Whether you work for yourself or remotely from home, set a schedule of work hours and stick to them!

2. Be On Time

One of the many privileges of working from home is being able to make your hours– at least to a certain extent.

If you know you’re not a morning person, starting your day at 8 AM probably won’t work for you. Adjust your hours, to something you can commit to.

What that doesn’t mean is putting off work because you “don’t feel like it.” Pick your hours, set your schedule and stick to it.

3. Look Presentable

Dressing for success, even in the home office is a huge moral boost for the at-home worker.

You don’t necessarily have to dress business formal, in a suit and tie or skirt and blouse; but avoid frumping around in your pajamas all day.

Sure, it’s cozy, but it won’t conjure up the right mindset to get work done and be effective.

You never know when you’ll be called upon for a Skype call or an external meeting; being prepared for anything and looking presentable is a master tip for at-home workers.

4. Set A Schedule

Setting a schedule for your workday is not the same as simply choosing your start and clock out time.

For typical office workers, the daily routine can be less than ideal:

  • Mornings are consumed by emails, early meetings, phone calls and chats with colleagues.
  • There’s a lunch break, which sometimes goes too long or, is a “working lunch” to compensate for lost hours in the morning.
  • Finally, the afternoon rolls around, and it’s cram time. Get as much done as possible so that tomorrow can be a bit more successful.

Does any of this sound familiar?

When you work from home, you have the supreme luxury of avoiding massive time wasters and working smart, not hard. (Take a look at How to Work Smart, Not Hard.)

Try this:

  • Color block your calendar for specific tasks, which require your full attention.
  • Don’t waste your day responding to emails; set a time (or several) and handle them all at once.
  • Limit distractions. If your TV, podcast, radio or social media keeps grabbing your attention– turn it off!
  • Set up a dedicated workspace, i.e. not the couch, your bed or kitchen table; the more serious you take your workspace, the more serious you’ll take your work AND yourself.

5. Take Responsible Breaks

If you’ve set your schedule well, you can feel relaxed in taking breaks: responsibly and often.

That’s right– I’m telling you to take breaks OFTEN. One of the biggest misconceptions of the modern work world is more hours equals more work, but it isn’t the case.

What ends up happening is a blank stare at the computer screen after hours spent trying to work through a difficult task or problem. Your brain needs rest to perform at its optimal level.

Here are some suggestions for responsible work breaks:

    • Food: It sounds silly, but so many people simply forget to eat because they’re caught up in the daily grind of work. Set a reminder for midday snacks and lunch, if you’re prone to skipping meals. Make it even easier by prepping your food the night before, so you can simply grab and eat!
    • Exercise: Take an active break by hitting the gym, going for a walk, doing a few stretches, jogging or whatever gives you physical release. Sitting all day, every day can do a lifetime of damage to our muscles, bones and internal systems.
    • Run an errand: Get out of the house for a minute– drop off your dry cleaning, grab a coffee, swing by the post office. When your home doubles as your office, trips to the “outside world” become less frequent.
    • Write or read: Writing is a full-time passion for me; yet I still have many responsibilities to maintain, which make my writing possible. Even if it’s just a spare 20 minutes, I sit down and write. If writing sounds like too much on a busy day, read a chapter of a book, an article or even proofread your writing.

6. Be Diligent

Working from home takes serious commitment– it’s not all fun and games!

Another great misconception is the idea you can work from home, do whatever you want and simply throw in a few hours a day– WRONG!

Life can be a game of tough choices. As an at-home worker, you have two choices: the challenge of commitment and determination or the struggle of regret.

Don’t be the latter; working from home can be the biggest success of your career and personal life if you put in the effort and commitment!

Stay Connected

It’s easy for stay-at-home workers to feel isolated and disconnected, which can lower motivation to get things done.  Particularly if you freelance and aren’t interacting with colleagues regularly, feelings of isolation can increase.

Try networking with other like-minded stay-at-home workers. Having a strong network will give you a newfound sense of drive and determination to push yourself.

Make time to attend networking events or lunch meetings with your clients and partners. Even in the digital age, never underestimate the power of face-to-face communication.

I Can Help!

Now you’ve got the tools for success, I can’t wait to see where your business will take you in 2017. I’d love to be a part of it!

 Ready to write your book? Need a business coach? We’ve got a lot to offer, so get in touch!

Image attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/laptop-desk-scene-computer-1246672/

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6 Habits of Success for the At-Home Worker
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Whether you’ve been given the option to set-up a home office, are an entrepreneur or business owner or need to find more structure to your days, check out my successful habits for being an at-home worker.
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