The dream of working from home is becoming a reality for more and more people everyday. Although once home, some may find it more of a nightmare than a dream. The challenges of working from home are different than working in an office and a lot of people are not prepared. Between the family interruptions, barking dogs and the scintillating daytime television shows it can be difficult to be as efficient and productive at home as you were at the office.
Here are a few simple things you can do to maintain your efficiency amid the chaos and distractions.
Create Your Space
Just having a quiet place to work can make a huge difference. If possible, it should be someplace where you go only to work and not play. The ideal situation is an actual home office but if space does not allow it, someplace out of the main traffic of the house, and out of ear shot of the television, will do as well.
Once you have established your work area, treat it as such. Keep it clean and organized. When you were working in an office you would not have kept week old coffee cups and stale bread crusts hanging around your desk. Don't do it here either. Clutter and trash is distracting to the brain. A clear workplace makes for clear thinking.
Use The Technology Available
Technology has been one of the major driving forces of the work from home revolution.
Make sure to take full advantage of it to help you stay organized and get more accomplished. Virtual communications is probably the biggest factor that has allowed so many people to come home from the office. There is of course the whole world wide web, email, instant messages, cell phones, virtual fax, video conferencing, virtual phones, and the list goes on and on.
All of these technologies can make working from home a lot easier. Let's take virtual fax for example. A virtual fax allows you to store all those faxed documents on your computer to reduce clutter and filing space.
Also, all of your faxes can come to your email so you don't need a fax machine taking up space and you are notified instantly when it comes in. No need to waste time going back and forth waiting for an expected fax. Sending faxes is also done straight from your computer.
You can't get more efficient than that.
For people that are still working for someone else, just from home, this is probably easier than for those that are working for themselves. Without a boss to be responsible to, it is sometimes difficult to keep on a task until it is finished. Every action item should have a deadline, especially those things that you don't enjoy doing. There are tons of time management programs out there and most email programs even have task lists. Use them. One of the great things about these kinds of programs is that they will remind you when your deadline is approaching and will keep popping up in your face until you finish the task. But even if you don't use an electronic task list and reminder system, a simple pen and paper will do. The important thing is to keep your action items written down and stick to your deadlines.
It can be a difficult transition moving from the office space to the home place. We have been conditioned and trained to work in one kind of environment for years. Some may find it difficult to stay efficient and productive within their new found freedom of the home office. However, with a little organization and technology, you can keep your dream of working at home from becoming a nightmare.
Brandi Cummings, an expert in the field of virtual telecommunications, recommends checking out Fax800.com (http://www.fax800.com ), a leading provider of internet fax technology for small and home based businesses.