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Five steps to help you win at working from home

Published 10th December 2014

When you’re a professional contractor, chances are you spend a great deal of time working from home. This arrangement probably suits you perfectly, and there’s no denying the benefits working from home as a contractor can bring, as long as you know how to make it work for you!

We’re big fans of effective contractor solutions, so we’ve compiled a list of the top five things people who work from home swear by. These methods help home-workers to increase their efficiency and get the most out of the day. Of course, these depend most upon your personal situation and how you work best. Read this list with yourself in mind and use it to brainstorm best working from home practices that work for you.

  1. Separate your work space from your home space: This is perhaps the most important and most widely supported solution for contractors who work from home. Having space set aside for your work, ideally with a door you can close, will do wonders for helping you consciously make that mental separation. When you step into your ‘office’, your subconscious knows it’s time to engage in work mode. Likewise, this is just as important at the end of the day. When you step back out of the office again, mentally switching off from work things becomes easier.
  2. Set your work hours: Sure, it can sound awesome you can quickly get that small job done when you’re struck by inspiration or have a moment to spare on your weekend. But when “just one thing” becomes never switching off, no matter what else you may be doing in your downtime, it can lead to trouble. You’ll find you become less productive during your actual work day, and spend far more time getting things done than it would normally take you. This decrease in efficiency will surely be noticed by your clients and won’t be healthy for your home life if you’re constantly interrupting downtime by checking emails. Set your work hours by the time in a day where you work most efficiently and stick to them as best you can. Then you can walk out of your work space at the end of the day and leave it behind.
  3. Get ready for work: This one might sound like a bit of a buzz kill. What’s better about working from home than being able to hang out in your PJs all day? The problem with this is that if you don’t shower until after lunch, and wear your slippers and sweatpants while you’re working from your laptop in bed, you never mentally engage in work mode. Instead, you’ll spend the day too comfortable to actually want to work and will soon find yourself spending more precious hours watching daytime television than getting on with the job. Do yourself and your valued clients (or employers) a favour and put on something smart for your time ‘on the job’.
  4. Keep a to-do list: To make sure your productivity doesn’t slip without co-workers or bosses around to keep you motivated, make a to-do list for each day. This doesn’t need to be lengthy; in fact, it’s better if it’s not. Keep it to three or four essential items to complete that day, then a secondary list for if and when you check off all the things on the first one. This will help you keep motivated on a day-to-day basis and make sure your productivity results in something tangible.
  5. Log your time: Logging your time will allow you to keep track of how much time each task requires. It also enables you to add up the hours in your day with visibility on time spent on non-productive things. A good example of time ill spent is when browsing the internet. How often do you check social media and browse the internet during your work day, only to find that suddenly it’s an hour later and you still haven’t gotten back to that task you’d been working on? Time management is an essential skill to have when working from home, so you’re best to embrace it.
Of course this list is not exhaustive. There are many more factors involved in how to successfully work from home. However, most professional contractors will tell you that loving and being passionate about what you do will usually spur you on to working-from-home success!

For more information on the solutions Oncore can offer contractors in the UK and Australia, contact us today.

UK – solutionsUK@oncoreservices.com / 0870 900 2901
AU – solutionsaus@oncoreservices.com / 1300 654 484