8 Really Useful Homeworking Tips
Hopefully some of these tips will help you avoid some of the pitfalls I hit, and general make the daily grind more productive and pleasurable (as it should be without the commute).
- Get a Reliable Internet Connection. Use a well known and stable provider (I use BT). Use decent, simple equipment (router) only. Good broadband is vital for decent video, web conferencing and IP phone connections. Poor connections really impact your productivity, drive you crazy, and in the worse-case mean you have to drive into the office. As I live quite far from the office I used to pay for 2 connections from two different providers, one acting as a backup. Fortunately my primary is now so reliable that I’ve dropped the backup.
- Don’t mess around with your PC network or equipment. The more you play with it, the more likely it is to break. Try to keep separate work and play machines (or at least users). This includes installing games, other software or indeed hardware that isn’t core to your job.
- Be Secure. With good office equipment in your house you’ll need a decent alarm, door and window locks, lighting, and to take a generally secure approach (I didn’t … and got burgled).
- Keep work locked away. If possible keep all work in a separate room, and don’t make it too easy to ‘just check something‘. Your real-life/family will thank you for it. Make it an effort to go to work.
- When at work, be at work. When working, keep to set hours and be strict to make sure other things don’t creep-in. I use my lunch hour for those household chores.
- Don’t get lonely. Some people visit the office once a week, others use online chat, radio and music players or other ways in which to feel part of the world at large. Think about your personality and choose accordingly.
- Get out. Its great to get out into the real world at lunchtime (or whenever suits). Go for a walk or run, play some sport or visit the gym/swimming pool. Even going to the local shops makes a refreshing change. It all helps clear the mental-grime of the morning, and I often get some great ideas that I can action that afternoon. Be tough and make yourself take those breaks.
- Self-promote your achievements. You need to make more of an effort to be visible, so create pieces of work that you can show to others (and management) that clearly signify what you are doing and the success you are achieving.
Let me know any tips you have too.