How To Stay Professional While Working From Home

by WorkFromHome on September 27, 2011

Working from home is the ultimate goal of many Australians, but once they have landed their dream job or started to build their new company, they often find themselves frustrated by the collision of their personal and professional lives. Making your home into your new base of operations, whether you are working for someone else or you are intent on building your own business, means that you will face challenges in focusing on your work, setting aside time for your family and maintaining a professional image to your colleagues and clients which you may not have had to deal with while working in an office. The good news, is that with some planning and deliberate scheduling you can find time for both your new career path and your personal life. Read on below for the best ways to stay professional while working from home:

Even If You Are Working Without An Office You Still Need An Office

Of course, your “office” does not have to look anything like the cubicle that you escaped from! Staying professional, regardless of where you are working, though, does require you to have at least some physical separations between your personal and professional life. Many Australians new to working from home find themselves unable to work efficiently because they are trying to run their online business off of the family computer instead of a computer that is dedicated to the business’s needs.

While purchasing a new computer, installing a phone line and setting up a desk or other workspace separate from your kitchen table or the desk that your children use to do their homework will cost you money, it is important to see these expenditures as an investment in your business’s future rather than an expensive cost. Make these investments at the beginning of your transition to working from home in order to give yourself the best possible odds of professional and financial success in the future.

Get Dressed For The Day No Matter Who Is Or Is Not There

Australians working from home may be tempted to spend their days in slovenly sweatpants or, worse, in their pyjamas. When you dress like you are still in bed, though, you are telling yourself that you are not taking your job working from home or your new business seriously. It is important to be in the right frame of mind to do your best work. This does not mean that you have to wear business suits around the house, but being reasonably well groomed and dressed in a manner that would allow you to go out to meet clients, or, at the very least, purchase office supplies, can make all the difference.

As a business owner, you will have to network in order to grow your business. Networking implicitly means being comfortable with leaving the house and meeting others. You could sign up for high pressure networking events, or, instead, while you are out and about running errands, attending social events or other occasions, you can make a point of chatting up your new business. In either case, it is important to not allow working from home to keep you from engaging with the world and staying at the top of your game.

Stay Focused On Your Work With The Right Organizational Tools

Everyone has a unique working style, so there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to time management and staying focused. Working from home can mean fewer challenges for Australians who find that they work best alone, but it also can mean a lot more complexities for those working at home while raising families or caring for elderly parents. Professionals working from home who find themselves tempted by afternoon television shows or the allure of a beautiful day outside may also need to devote some time to time management.

The first step to managing your time effectively is to make sure that you have a handle on what tasks you need to complete each day, week and month and on what you will need to do to accomplish these goals. You may find that all you need is a simple notepad to keep a “to do” list, but if you are a home based business owner with a number of clients, then you may need a more advanced system to stay focused and efficient while working. Try out some of the following methods to stay focused while working:

  • Use an online task list with reminders which can be e-mailed or sent to you via text message
  • Set up a Microsoft Access database of your current projects and the steps that you will have to complete
  • Try a more visual approach with a colour coded schedule

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