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How to Successfully Work from Home

Working from home or “telecommuting” has become more prevalent over the years as companies continue to recognize its value. With no geographic confines, companies are able to attract a larger pool of talent, retain employees by providing flexible scheduling, and save money on things like relocation expenses and utility bills. While most telecommuters enjoy this work- life balance, there are some challenges with working from home, which is why it’s so important to establish “rules” or guidelines for a symbiotic relationship between employee and employer.

Below are some tips for a successful work-from-home arrangement.

Eliminate distractions.

Children, pets and other family and friends must respect that during 9-5 you are working just as you would if you were on-site in an office building. This means children should either be in daycare or you should establish another method of childcare during your work hours.

The same goes for other family and friends. You wouldn’t be taking multiple personal calls if your coworkers were sitting in a cubicle next to you. That should also apply as a telecommuter.

Be sure to draw a line with your pets, too. Just because you are home all day, doesn’t mean you and your dog have an eight-hour play date. Keep your pets in an area that won’t distract you. That way, you’ll avoid the embarrassing dog bark while you’re on an important conference call with your client or boss.

And, while we’re talking about distractions, don’t turn on the TV. By keeping your TV off, you’ll avoid the temptation of getting sucked into Dr. Phil or watching your favorite DVR’d shows when you’re supposed to be working. Let’s face it, daytime television isn’t very good anyway.

Stay connected with colleagues.

Since you’re not able to see your coworkers face-to-face on a daily basis, it’s important to stay connected in other ways. Instant messaging, video conferencing, and phone calls are important for keeping the communication window open and nurturing your work relationships.

Take a lunch break.

It’s important to avoid falling into the workaholic trap. Be sure to manage your time as if you were working in an office. In other words, take the time to step away from your desk and grab some lunch.

Get out of the house.

You’re probably thinking, “Get out of the house? Isn’t this article about working from home?” What we mean by getting out of the house is this: Working solo can be a bit lonely at times, so it’s important to continue to maintain some form of human contact. This can mean heading into town to meet your friends for lunch or happy hour, joining a professional organization, attending a networking event, or simply being around other people at the gym. The point is it is easy to become a hermit being at home all of the time, so make a concerted effort to get out of the house once in a while.

Don’t become a workaholic.

With your home as your office, the line between personal and professional can become blurred. It’s important to disconnect after the work day is over to enjoy some leisure and spend time with your family and friends. Relationships can suffer if your attention is always on work, so be sure to set boundaries so your work mode switch isn’t always set to “on.”

There are many benefits to working from home.  As long as you’re able to focus on your work, manage your time, meet deadlines, and separate your work life from your home life, you’ll enjoy home office bliss!

Do you work from home and have advice on how to do so successfully? Share your tips in our comments section below!

85 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michael #

    Great tips. Especially about distractions. I do work outside my home about 20 hours a week, and the rest is at home. I found some options here http://thecreativealternative.com/how-to-make-money-online/ that go into many different ways to make money from home. Hope it helps some of you.

    August 6, 2013
  2. One of the best ways to remove distractions is to set up an area of you home, no matter how small, that is dedicated solely to your work.

    August 25, 2013
    • I definitely need to do this – thanks for the tip

      April 4, 2014
  3. i keep an eye on Don’t become a workaholic & Eliminate distractions, it’s very hard to control it. sometimes we need some extra time work at home even our job is done. let’s say your staff call you to arrange meeting on thursday at same time we still playing with our children, how i can deny it ? sorry it’s just my opinion and my real case. nowdays people become busy, busy & busy.

    September 15, 2013
  4. Getting out of the house is probably the biggest one of all. I try to make as many off site meetings and lunches as I can. Also, just go for a walk. It’s important.

    As someone who works from home, I rely on telecommuting, or other conference call services in order to get my work completed. They are very affordable these days, and make like a lot easier.

    September 16, 2013
  5. I typically work from my home. I personally find that I get more accomplished at home than if I am in the office. You have to be disaplined as it is very easy to get distracted with daily household tasks. I sell real estate so if I am not out showing homes then a lot of my time is either on the computer or phone. I typically find that listing to the news or the radio in the background when I not on the phone helps me stay in the office.

    September 23, 2013
  6. I enjoyed this list because I have recently started working from home. It was a really insightful list of things that you really would not think about until it is too late. I have learned that the getting out of the house is the most valuable one.
    our blog

    September 27, 2013
  7. The “Take a lunch break” really hits home with me. I’m one to not only not take breaks, but eat lunch at my desk. Sitting for long periods can really do a number on my back, so now I take breaks more often and have incorporated a standing desk into my work day as well. I think the more comfortable you are, the more productive you can be – and therefore the more more successful with a home-based business. Great article!

    October 4, 2013
  8. Great tips. Especially about distractions. I do work outside my home about 20 hours a week, and the rest is at home.

    October 9, 2013
  9. Great Tips. I have 3 young children so there are always distractions – I wear ear plugs while I work :). I am also guilty of being a workaholic. Sometimes I feel guilty watching TV knowing I could be doing something else (since I work from home).

    October 9, 2013
  10. All good advice but especially the one about unplugging from work once 5 PM hits, too many homebased business owners work sporadically at random hours, its better to work hard from 10-4 than a few hours here and a few hours there into the night. For getting out of the house I’d recommend checking out a co-working space and going once or twice a week plus maybe work from a coffeeshop a couple days a week too.

    October 16, 2013
  11. I am doing all our office work from home and in the beginning I had a really hard time with creating some kind of schedule or routine for myself. My work hours were all over the place! And it is very true that working from home can easily transform you into a workaholic: When your office is in the next room you can just go back to work after dinner and finish xyz… I would never do that if I had to drive back to the office!

    October 18, 2013
  12. I can’t stress enough how getting out the house is important. If you do NOT do this, you will easily become a workaholic. Great article.

    October 25, 2013
  13. This is a great blog post. I’ve been working from home for over 5 years now. While I was in college, I worked with online advertising companies where I was paid to try different new innovative products. Later I started with my own Vbulletin Forums, followed by Blogs on WordPress, free Job sites to help people find jobs and most recently, my own website design and internet marketing company. There’s definitely many ways to work from home and I continue to explore my options.

    October 29, 2013
  14. This is great information. The best part of this is being able to avoid distraction. This is a big takeaway for anyone working at home.

    December 7, 2013
  15. I find that identifying your most productive time helps a lot. That time frame can get you to accomplish a lot of task. Great article.

    December 12, 2013
  16. Great tips on working from home! Most of the time if you work from home, you have to figure out a way to eliminate distractions. Great post!

    December 27, 2013
  17. Working from home has several advantages and few disadvantages. Working from home you need to be disciplined, create hours of work and stick to it. The disadvantage is more of a social problem in that you can isolate yourself and forget how to treat people in the real world.

    January 5, 2014
  18. I currently work from home three days of the week as a property manager, and must admit it can be very difficult at times. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to designate a separate work space. You have to train your brain to associate that specific area with WORK WORK WORK! Your kitchen, living room and bedroom have already made the connection to relaxation and socialization.

    January 8, 2014
  19. chrisjankulovski #

    It’s important to note that basically the reason why your employer allowed you to work from is because he/she trusts you that you will get the job done.

    It can be tough for managers to handle remote workers and we recently publish an article about managing remote workers that might be helpful to remote employees and employers alike: http://blog.remotestaff.com.au/manage-remote-workers-and-build-trust-in-5-ways/

    March 11, 2014
  20. Your idea is really good. I tried to do the same nearly for 6 months I worked from home but I couldn’t. Though you try to avoid distraction it happens. Neighbor at times peek, sales persons and few people wrongly knock the door, sometimes some urgent works come up that you couldn’t avoid. At home I use to get so many personal activities to do, every time it end up doing my work instead of official work. Some times you get a feeling like, let it be will start my work after 15 mins and it goes on thinking that I am at home anytime i can start working. I will finish it by sitting late nite. For me working from home is no no…

    March 13, 2014
  21. Nice article. But it is very difficult to get work Now-a-days.

    Thanks for sharing

    March 14, 2014
  22. Nice article. Best way to find work is Freelancer.
    Many people are working from home and earning good bucks.

    Thanks for sharing

    March 14, 2014
  23. I love how people have made working from home a real business. The world becomes a much nicer palce once you are ‘location independent’ :)

    March 14, 2014
  24. I liked reading this because this is the same situation from which i am suffering. i will share this great article as many needs to know and get some time so that they can work from home. Thanks!!

    March 14, 2014
  25. I am doing all our office work from home and in the beginning I had a really hard time with creating some kind of schedule or routine for myself. My work hours were all over the place! And it is very true that working from home can easily transform you into a workaholic: When your office is in the next room you can just go back to work after dinner and finish xyz… I would never do that if I had to drive back to the office!

    March 14, 2014
  26. Thanks you Very Much all of this aGreat tips. Especially about distractions.

    March 14, 2014
  27. Nice article, that was useful!

    March 15, 2014
  28. These are amazing tips.. that I sometime have trouble with myself. Particularly leaving the house and staying connected. These tips definitely make a difference.

    March 15, 2014
  29. I will tell you what….it takes some serious discipline to work from home…I have done it for the past 3 years. I would love to make enough to work for myself, but the number 1 “distractions”…that is definitely the biggest. Takes focus and work ethic the last one, are my top two!

    March 15, 2014
  30. Rob #

    Great article. I find that I have to push away and just get out for a little while. Sort of like hitting the reset button on my mind.

    March 16, 2014
  31. I love working from home. It gives me freedom to do the things that I want to do.

    Having a business that you can run out of your home provides you with many benefits in work and in life. If you are looking to start one of these businesses or have been having difficulty, here is some advice.

    Hire people to help you. You might imagine that because you’re a home business, you have to do everything on your own and that’s not so. There are number of places that you can find competent, inexpensive help for whatever you need done. Letting other people handle some things frees you up to focus on what you truly enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY4XnQt-Urvvuuj0BpdG-A/videos

    March 16, 2014
  32. sickmanifestation #

    there are so many real jobs from home out there

    March 16, 2014
  33. I currently work from home and I love it. When people think about working from home, many imagine sleeping in late, lounging around in their pajamas and long leisurely lunches. In my opinion, the people need to realize, that even though working from home offers a great amount of flexibility, it is still a professional job and it needs to be treated as such.

    Regards Anna

    March 17, 2014
  34. Hi.. i’m newbie for business tips, but i’m read your post. it’s amazing, this post can give me a inspiration.. thanks..

    March 17, 2014
  35. good tips. now i am learning how to work at home . As like business online .. thank’s for tips

    March 17, 2014
  36. I have been working out of my home for the past 15 years and the most important thing it “stay connected with colleagues”. You don’t realize it but you get a lot of information about new things and events just by keeping in touch. Just by keeping in touch I get info on new software, websites and products.

    March 17, 2014
  37. So what is the best job working from home?

    March 18, 2014
  38. Nice article, that was useful!

    March 18, 2014
  39. great… , i will try your tips about how to successfully work from home. thank for your sharing

    March 19, 2014
  40. working at home would be more effective & efficient if supported by the company

    March 19, 2014
  41. Great tips. thank you for sharing!

    March 20, 2014
  42. Great article! Wonderful advice!

    March 20, 2014
  43. This is great, the dream of all :)

    March 21, 2014
  44. lucilleecampbell #

    Its great! Being serious and focus in work is important but just be enough and don’t be workaholic. That will make people’s life be come’s dead.

    March 22, 2014
  45. lucilleecampbell #

    Good, Relationships can suffer if your attention is always on work, so be sure to set boundaries to your work …and you don’t have workaholic…

    March 22, 2014
  46. I Love to work at home, I and have more time to enjoy family. Thanks for tips!

    March 22, 2014
  47. It’s Simple Tips, but is importan because Many People have dream work from Home. But they Can’t do that.

    March 22, 2014
  48. I work from home myself. It’s been difficult but overall, successful. I found this list to be pretty inclusive. I’m going to pass it along to a few of my colleagues who are struggling to find balance.

    March 22, 2014
  49. Working from home allows me to be a full time dad and pursue my passions in life. Its great when you love what you do and even better when you can do it when you want and make a living at it.

    March 22, 2014
  50. Hi there to all, because I am truly keen of reading this website’s post to be updated daily.
    It includes fastidious material.

    March 22, 2014
  51. great tips, some longer practical, but others are new I will practice.

    March 23, 2014
  52. Great tips , Actually Work from home is a good way to make . I allready did it since 2010 …and I agree with your tips especially ” to make Be sure to draw a line with your pets, childrem etc .. ” .with this i can make more focus on my work .There are so many benefits i Have , manage my time, meet deadlines, I really enjoy home office

    March 23, 2014
  53. Though eliminating distractions is essential, it’s not that easy, especially if you have a family that does not understand telecommuting jobs also require the same amount of effort and discipline as regular jobs.

    March 24, 2014
  54. Very useful article with clear instructions to be a successful freelancers.

    March 24, 2014
  55. Some interesting advice – the key for me is remembering why you are working from home as well, is it extra money, pay the bills, taking the kids on holiday. Work it work, it should play a part in your life but not necessarily take over your life.

    March 24, 2014
  56. Great post. The one I would really like to focus on from the above is to still take breaks in and out of the office. It’s just as easy to be head in the game that you forget to take a run, or take your eyes off the computer screen for any normal period of time.

    Try to take at least 3 breaks a day. For me I grab coffee in the morning, talk with my wife, play with my son. Lunch is a run outside and a nice meal. End of day I try to read industry trade journals I get delivered at home. Something different that allows me to change my mind flow.

    This is how I stay sane and productive. Most people argue that you will be more distracted if you work from home. But for me I have been less detracted. I have to consciously think to disrupt the monotony.

    March 24, 2014
  57. great tips for me

    March 25, 2014
  58. Very good article. I really like your writing style. I wait for your next post. thank you

    March 25, 2014
  59. it’s amazing tip am new to entering business career . this will help me lot to make my career in better way. once again thanks for this article http://www.gurujobalert.com/

    March 25, 2014
  60. i am also work at my home. This feeling is really good when you work from home and earn some real cash.

    March 25, 2014
  61. great… , i will try your tips about how to successfully work from home. thank for your sharing

    March 25, 2014
  62. Working from home has given me so much time freedom, you are correct that more people are looking for ways to stay home and create the lifestyle that will make them happy.

    March 25, 2014
  63. Some interesting advice – the key for me is remembering why you are working from home as well, is it extra money, pay the bills, taking the kids on holiday. Work it work, it should play a part in your life but not necessarily take over your life.

    March 25, 2014
  64. Very good article. I really like your post. I wait for your next post. thank you

    March 25, 2014
  65. Nice article. Best way to find work is Freelancer.
    Many people are working from home and earning good bucks.

    March 26, 2014
  66. As someone who works from home, I rely on telecommuting, or other conference call services in order to get my work completed.

    March 26, 2014
  67. Great tips. Waiting for your next articles!

    March 27, 2014
  68. Very good post..I enjoyed this list because I have recently started working from home. It was a really insightful list of things that you really would not think about until it is too late. Thanks for sharing!

    March 27, 2014
  69. Great tips about how to successfully work from home. The bottom line is the moment we take control of our work from home business is the moment we will stop making excuses and start finding solutions and focus on what’s really matters for achieving success from home. No distraction, getting in touch with your right audience market, stay up to date on what’s really going on in your niche or industry. The main reason of working from home is to focus on time leverage, people leverage and money leverage. So it can free us from being workaholic. Great article…

    March 31, 2014
  70. All great tips! “Leave the house”, YES! You have to leave the house, even if it’s for a 20 minute walk. I used to (before the baby) get dressed up everyday, even if I wasn’t leaving for an appointment. It was a psychological thing, I guess.

    It worked though as it’s hard to lay on the couch and watch TV in a dress shirt & slacks :)

    April 2, 2014
  71. Silent the Phone…. :)
    Blackbery Messenger and Line can be more distraction than TV, in my case

    April 2, 2014
  72. Very nice, we need to work out side to have a sideline for another income, but must good if you can work from home, you can see you family in your house you can handle your time with your job and family.

    April 2, 2014
  73. If you work from your home can manage your time ,Most people argue that you will be more distracted if you work from home. But for me a lot to work you doing to your house that you work.

    April 2, 2014
  74. Good Tips..working from home has many advantages but you have to go out 2-3 hours for a change to get your energy back.

    April 6, 2014
  75. The main reason of working from home is to focus on time leverage, people leverage and money leverage. So it can free us from being workaholic. Great article…

    April 7, 2014
  76. Great tips, I think we need a break every 2 hours. If you feel tired, just relax. Nobody can give the best if he/she is tired…go to sleep, watch tv…just relax. When you feel more productive go again to work.

    Thanks
    Luis

    April 7, 2014
  77. This is a great post for anyone with a work at home business

    April 8, 2014
  78. Great post. I work in real estate and I have the opportunity to work in a variety of environments. The part that speaks to me the most is to get out of the house. I can tend to get too involved in what I am doing and forget to get out and meet people. Thanks

    April 8, 2014
  79. Nice article, But If you’re programmer, so Freelancer is the best choice work from your home and earn money via Freelancer project.

    April 9, 2014
  80. have a work from home business is exciting work to date. great solution, thanks.

    April 10, 2014
  81. Tia #

    Great Advice! I recently started working from home. You just have to create a special area for yourself so that you can get thing accomplished.

    April 10, 2014
  82. This is a great blog post. I’ve been working from home for over 5 years now. When your office is in the next room you can just go back to work after dinner and finish everything… I would never do that if I had to drive back to the office! The only tip that I want to share is: if you want it, you can do this. You need a place at home just for yourself, no matter how big it is!

    April 14, 2014

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