Ah yes, working at home seems like the best of both worlds: earning money while you work in your pajamas and effortlessly take care of your children. But don’t be fooled, while working at home has many wonderful attributes, it does come with its own set of unique challenges.
For the majority of telecommuters, distractions, isolation and figuring out child care arrangements are just a few of the challenges that are faced on a daily basis.
To make working at home the best of both worlds, try incorporating these strategies into your plan.
1) Limiting Distractions
Separate Office Space: When you’re working at home it is easy to get distracted by the laundry, household chores, TV and other family members that require your attention. By having a separate office space you can tune out the noise, people and chores and clearly focus on the task at hand.
Create a Schedule for Yourself: Start by setting regular office hours, this allows you to create a time slot for each of the day’s activities and it communicates to others when your work-time and play-time is. By creating a schedule you create a place for all of the activities in your day while keeping you on focused.
2) Battling the Work at Home Blues
Join a Club: Working at home can be a lonely gig. Try joining a class or club; check out your local newspaper or universities for events, classes and club listings, as well as sites like Meetup. By joining a club or class, it not only gets you out of the house, but it will introduce to new people that have similar interests.
Online Interaction: While nothing beats good old face-to-face interaction, online socialization can be great filler for when you’re unable to meet in person. With the explosion of social networking sites, there is no shortage for online places to meet new individuals. Facebook, Twitter, and Google + are just a few to get your started. To keep your online networking from becoming a distraction, schedule a couple of 15 minutes breaks into your day just for socialization purposes.
3) Working at Home with Kids
Paid Caregivers: While you probably started telecommuting to spend more time with your kids, it will be close to impossible to give them they attention that they need and still work full-time hours. Nannies, pre-schools and family members may need to be utilized. Don’t feel comfortable handing your kids over to someone else? Consider working part-time while your children are napping or while your spouse can watch them. To do your best work, you will need a block of uninterrupted time to focus on the project at hand. This also allows you to fully be present with your children when they are around.
Kiddo Swap: Know of another parent who works at home? Make an arrangement to do a kiddo swap. Take turns watching each other’s children while the other gets some work done. Not only does this give you some uninterrupted time to work, but your kids will love having new playmates.
4) Time Management
Night Time Plan: To be prepared to tackle your day, try creating a daily to-do list and schedule the night before. By keeping yourself organized you help to streamline your day by increasing your efficiency and decreasing time spent wondering what to do next.
Get Organized: You don’t want to start your day off by searching aimlessly for an important document. Set yourself up for success, by getting organized and creating a specific place for everything. This will save you time and frustration.
5) You’re Not Taken Seriously
Get Out of Your PJs: While working at home may conjure up images of pajamas and bunny slippers, if you want to be taken seriously as a telecommuter you need to prep and prepare just like you were going to a day job. Not only does it signal to others that you are a serious professional, but it puts you in a more positive and fresh state of mind. It’s even been suggested, that “dressing up” makes you more productive.
What tips do you have for working at home? Let us know below. – Originally posted on FlexJobs