How to Work from Home and Actually be Productive

Oct 17, 2011

More companies are realising that allowing their employees to work from home can benefit productivity, save money on office space and parking, reduce absenteeism, and improve morale. If you aspire to become a telecommuter (full- or part-time), learn how you can make working from home work well for you.

Break Free from Your Cubicle

One of the biggest advantages to working from home is saving time and eliminating stress. Even if you telecommute only a few days a week, that’s less time you’ll have to spend travelling back and forth, less time in traffic or sitting on a crowded train. Instead, going to the “office” will simply mean rolling out of bed and walking to another room.

Stay Away from the Fridge, the TV, and the Kids

Working from home requires discipline, so don’t create your own distractions. Dedicate a space solely for work, and make sure it’s comfortable, quiet, and clutter-free. Structure your time and take breaks when you need them. If there are children in your house, try to find a space where you can work with the door shut. It might be wise to pack a lunch for yourself each morning, as if you were going to the office. This will help limit mindless snacking during the day. (It also means that you won’t have to stop in the middle of the day to make lunch.) Finally, assess whether you work better with music or without, and plan accordingly.

Get the Tools to Get the Job Done

When it’s time to get down to business, your home office should be equipped with everything you need to be productive. Invest in the right tools, and you’ll get more accomplished in less time.

For instance, a notebook computer gives you the freedom to move from room to room, while Wi-Fi keeps you online wherever you go. A fast processor allows you to run multiple applications with ease, and a roomy keyboard with a comfortable keypad makes typing all day long a breeze. Be sure to have a good lamp and an ergonomic chair, too.

If you’re working on a desktop computer, you might consider replacing your old CRT with an ultra-thin LCD-LED monitor, such as the widescreen Samsung EX2220. It saves space, produces high-quality images, and reduces eye strain. These monitors also use up to 40 percent less power than conventional CRTs, and because they generate less heat, you might save on air conditioning costs as well!

Ideas for Small Spaces

If you’re tight on space, many printers boast compact design yet still deliver essential features, including fast print speed and large paper capacity. If you choose a wireless printer, you can place it almost anywhere in your home. That’s especially helpful if your home office is small, or if you have to share a network with anyone else in your household. Multifunction printers, which can copy, scan and fax, are another space-saving idea.

Smartphones can serve as personal assistants at home, keeping you organised and on track to meet your deadlines. A Samsung Jack with Windows Mobile™ 6.1 lets you access the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, so all your appointments and business documents are available at any time. And multiple messaging with Wi-Fi allows you to SMS, MMS, Instant Message, email and video message at high speed, helping you stay connected, no matter where you are.