In a drive to reduce costs and take advantage of the ease of electronic communications, organizations are becoming increasingly partial to having people work at home. For most people, this is a whole new experience — one that requires discipline and focus. Here are some ideas that can enhance the experience.
Contract with your family not to disturb you during certain hours. This will help you increase your motivation to work.
Locate your office far from high-traffic areas so that you won't see or hear people. The basement or the end of a hallway is preferable.
Keep your door closed to avoid disruptions. Post a Do Not Disturb sign on the door.
Avoid taking on additional daytime chores that were not previously your responsibility. Alternatively, do these chores in the time you once spent commuting, at either the beginning or the end of the day.
Set goals for yourself each day. Focus on completing at least one meaningful task every day. Reward yourself with a cookie or some other token benefit.
Don't isolate yourself totally from your peers at work. Attend office meetings at least once every two weeks. There is no substitute for face-to-face communication.
Communicate with peers who have made the same transition as you. Find out how they are doing and learn if they have particular strategies that helped make the transition successful.
Furnish your work area to make it look and feel just as it did in your old office.
Don't fall prey to the temptation to stay in your pajamas — you will be inclined to act sloppy.
Maintain a routine that requires you to work certain hours, start at a certain time and finish at a certain time. Also, pause mid-morning and -afternoon to refresh, stretch and take a mental break.