How to look professional working from home? According to a 2019 survey by Buffer, a social media management service, 99% of people who answered their questionnaire said that they prefer some form of flexible work included in their work arrangement.
While an increasing number of workers opt to work from home, and more companies are coming around to the idea of giving employees the flexibility to work from any location, it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Sure, having a flexible work schedule means you get to work anywhere and at any time. You don’t have to worry about the stress of commuting, plus you have more time to spend with your family.
However, as most people new to flexible work find out, it becomes a drag to maintain productivity, stay focused due to distractions and for extroverted individuals lead to social depression.
You see, it’s not all sunshine and roses after all. So, how do you avoid the common pitfalls of working from home while being professional about it?
How to avoid the pitfalls of working from home
Have a designated place for work
Sure, you can choose to work out of your bedroom, on the couch, or kitchen. But, to maintain a consistent productivity level each day, you will have to designate a specific space as your home office.
Here’s the thing, by designating a particular space as your workspace and ensuring only work-related activities are done there, you trick your brain into work mode anytime you enter the room or sit on the desk.
Be sure, however, that the designated space emulates a true work environment. Have a comfortable seat and keep all office supplies and materials within reach.
Set clear office hours
It’s pretty much easy to work long hours while working from home. Most work-from-home professionals tend to work six to seven hours longer each week compared to their counterparts in the office.
And, the reason is not far-fetched, working from home often means you’re always connected and near your work. Hence, making it quite difficult to separate personal life from your career.
By setting clear office hours and sticking to them, you provide yourself with a chunk of time each day when all your attention is on getting work done. It also helps you set and manage your family’s or flatmate’s expectations, as they know when you are available or not.
Consider a virtual office address
For instance, would you display your home address on your website and other business-related materials?
Then consider how your customers would perceive your business if they Google your address and see it is in a residential part of town. You will also need to plan on what happens to your business address if you move to a new house.
These are legitimate business concerns you can resolve. Many opt for a virtual business address, to which clients can write and send payments. It is a great option that provides you with a real address for your business without having to tell the whole world where you and your family live! Here on Purple Patch we can offer you this service.
Invest in technologies
Lastly, you may need to purchase and install video conferencing applications to conduct meetings with clients and team members. Also, purchasing productivity and time tracking solutions may be the best investment you make to ensure you’re in the loop on project progress, deadlines, and tracking the time spent on each task.