Since the adoption of digital technologies, our work patterns have been changing rapidly, and flexible approaches to telecommuting are paying off for employees and employers in Australia. The University of Melbourne and Auckland University of Technology found that employees who work from home two to three days each week are more productive than their office-bound coworkers. Respondents believed that flexible work arrangements enabled them to be more productive and also led to better performance. To make the most of your WAH gig, follow these tips for optimal success and productivity.
Designate a Private Workspace
Working on projects and typing out emails from the comfort of your bed or sofa may seem ideal at first. While working from home is oftentimes flexible, it’s still a professional gig. Designate a specific place in your home for an office. This can be a studio, extra bedroom, dining room table or corner desk.
Wherever your home office is located, it should emulate a work environment. Decorate your office area with lush greenery and plants, family photos and small trinkets to keep you inspired, just as you would do in a traditional office. Store all work-related documents and files in this area, and set up shop away from TVs and beds.
Create Your Own Schedule
Half of Australia’s working population works from home or on the go, according to SmartCompany. That’s 56 million people using the Internet to work away from the office or outside of traditional working hours. The standard 9 to 5 working hours are not a perfect fit for all professionals. Unlock your potential and discover your magic hours. Australia’s Bespoke Magazine explains magic hours as the times that WAH employees are the most creative and productive.
For some this may mean rising with the sun and taking a snooze around noon, for others the workday might start at 10 a.m. and last until the early evening hours. Whatever your magic hours, be diligent about scheduling meetings or calls and make yourself available during crucial business hours—not everyone will be working the same hours as you.
Take a Little Personal Time
Before you begin the daily grind, take a little personal time to refocus and get ready to take on the day. A light workout or brisk morning jog gets your endorphins pumping and can give you a feel-good feeling that lasts throughout the entire day. Working out in the morning will encourage you to eat breakfast, so be sure to take the time to prepare a complete breakfast. Get a high-tech single-serving coffee maker, so you can whip up a cup of gourmet java quickly at any time of day.
Although you may be your own boss or working remotely full-time, it’s still important to take family vacations and personal days.
Dress for Success
Although it’s nice to work in pajamas or yoga pants, getting dolled up for a day of work at home can pay off. Styling your hair and doing your makeup can give you a boost of confidence and inspire creativity. Wardrobe essentials like cozy knits, denim and cottons are best suited for the work-at-home lifestyle. Plus, if you need to hop on a video conference call or meet a client at a corner café, you’ll be ready for success at a moment’s notice.