How to work from home

by Admin
Updated: July 29, 2020

You can achieve maximum productivity when you know how to work from home effectively

When you are working from home (“WFH”) you can avoid commuting which saves an incredible amount of time, energy, pollution and risk. At home you can roll out of bed and be instantly at work. You can work as much as you like and if you have an idea, you can act on it without having to wait until the next day.

Almost everything I’ve ever read about working from home is wrong. The main recommendations are usually based on the idea of trying to make it as much like going to work as possible. This is ridiculous because it misses most of the advantages that working from home provides.

It’s for everyone

Some types of work, mainly computer/Internet based, can be done almost entirely from home. But even if your work involves going out, you should have a home base where you can properly attend to your finances, communications etc.

While it might still be possible to get paid for simply showing-up, if you don’t pay attention to your personal admin it will cost you.

Adjustment maybe needed

If you’ve been used to going to work and haven’t worked from home before, you will need time to adjust. Change is rarely comfortable.

The main issues are transitioning from a model where attendance was a factor to one where performance is the whole story and having the freedom to not work whenever you choose.

Warning: Being available on social media or doing things for entertainment will destroy your productivity.

Avoid misguided self-discipline

Sensible time-management sounds like a good idea but it depends on what is meant by “sensible.” Following an arbitrary timetable for its own sake hardly qualifies. The goal is to get the work done - so achieving productivity targets is what’s really important.

Perhaps for the first time, you need to discover how you work best.

Embrace self-motivation

Unless you are on some system where your involvement is required on a time basis, you can choose when you work. You don’t have to work if you don’t want to, but if you don’t want to do your work, you’re probably in the wrong occupation.

Otherwise, the only challenge is how & when to switch off except that when you’re finely tuned-in you don’t have to: Work and life become the same thing.

Warning: Be careful with research - it can blur into entertainment. Keep your achievement targets close.

Shut the door

“Distractions” are just excuses for a lack of self-motivation.

“Interruptions” are different and can be a real problem. Whether you’re problem-solving or taking important phone calls, it’s critical that you aren’t interrupted.

Your home is - or should be - an environment you control. If you aren’t in control of it, it can’t really count as your “home” for the purpose of doubling as a work environment and you’ll do better finding somewhere you can control.

If you like music while you work, you can listen to music. If you prefer peace & quiet, you can turn the music off. You can be tidy or untidy, have a designated work space or sit on the floor with your computer etc. The point is you manage your environment to perfectly suit your preferences.

Family and friends must respect the fact that you are at work. This will be difficult for them if they see you lying on the floor in your pyjamas even though you may be thinking through a problem.

If you’re in a relationship, this can be difficult to get right especially if you work unusual hours.

Protect your health

Don’t sit for too long. Get up and do some simple exercises such as breathing, stretching, calisthenics etc. Drink water (you can go to the bathroom whenever you like). Remember to eat.

Celebrate every achievement: Saying something like, “I Rock!” out loud can be enough. Avoid stagnation by getting out from time-to-time and having some fun.

More info

“Want to work from home? Understand the pros and cons before deciding” at monster.com (good basic advice).

“Telecommuting Trend Data (updated 2020)” at globalworkplaceanalytics.com (includes free white papers).

“10 [+7] Stats About Remote Work” [updated 2020] at remote.co (it’s all positive).

Internal links

Micro tasks Eliminate procrastination The true meaning of success Go to Articles
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