According
to the 2017 State of Telecommuting report released by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people
telecommuting in the U.S. increased 115% between 2005 and 2015. There are
many people making a good living at working remotely, and the numbers show it’s
becoming more common.

 

Working
from home is a wonderful way to continue in a career you love while having a
bit of flexibility added into your schedule. Lots of employees are happy to
give up their traffic-filled commutes and trade in their noisy cubicle for a
quiet office at home, but sometimes the transition isn’t as easy as one would
think.

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Being an
at-home employee means your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder keeping you
on-task during the day, and the lines between office time and home time can get
pretty blurred. But don’t worry. With a little preparation and planning, you
can transition into working remotely easily by following these five tips.

 

1. Create a Dedicated Work Space

 

Now that
you’re a telecommuter working from home, you should set aside a defined
workspace to help you focus on your work. Having a dedicated work area helps
you get in the right frame of mind for your job, and it will send a clear
message to family members that you are working when you’re seated at your desk.

 

Don’t
feel pushed into taking over an entire room, unless one is available to you. A
comfortable chair and desk arranged in a quiet corner of the house can be
perfectly suitable for productive work.

 

2. Invest in Good Technology

 

When
working from home, a computer is an obvious need when you’re getting settled. The
system you select should have plenty of disk space and system memory.

Additionally, you should ensure you have a reliable internet connection. If your computer runs slow, it
will slow down your production, which will affect you and your paycheck.

 

A
high-quality headset with a microphone may also be a necessity if you’ll be
attending online meetings or taking lots of phone calls. The hands-free option
will allow you to field calls with ease while freeing up your hands for taking
notes or finishing other work.

 

3. Take Advantage of Software and Tools

 

Staying
organized and on-task can keep you performing at a high-level. There are many
tools and apps to help you stay on top of things, and many of them are free. Consider
the following options to help in your work:

 

·       Project Management Software. Project management software
enables you to prioritize your projects and coordinate with other team members
if needed.

 

·       Digital Notebooks. Keeping your notes and lists gathered
in one place will help with organization. House your webpages, lists and clips
of articles neatly together, and they’ll be ready whenever you need them.

 

·       Time Tracking Tools. Time
management software helps you track your work hours and evaluate how you’re
spending your day.

 

4. Structure Your Work Days

 

Creating
processes for the way you work will help you be successful in your home office.

If you find you’re most productive in the afternoons, block out the after-lunch
hours of your day for getting things done. Does a brisk walk in the morning rev
you up for a good day of work? Schedule that into your daily routine.

 

Another
way you can create structure in your day is to group your meetings and
appointments together. That way you can be laser focused for a large chunk of
time, and then take a short break once the meetings are over.

 

5. Find Ways to Stay Motivated

 

Working
at home means the TV, chores and kitchen are close by. While it may be easy to
get distracted by fixing a snack and relaxing in front of Netflix, keep your
motivation high during your workdays. If your kids are your incentive to keep
on-task, keep their photos close by. If the money is what drives you, remember
the upcoming paychecks help you pay your bills.

 

Challenging
yourself to grow your skills can also keep your motivation high. Set aside 30
minutes each day to learn a new skill or watch a training video. Learning will
help you in your personal and professional growth.

 

Following
these easy tips, your work-from-home journey can be both successful and
enjoyable. Do you have some work at home tips that have helped you or someone
you know in their remote office? Leave a comment below.