With the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus, companies may be considering temporary telecommute options for their employees to help limit the spread of the virus. Nowadays, some individuals may already run home -based businesses or work at home regularly, but if you are telecommuting for a short period, it is important to be prepared.
Working from home can be accomplished despite the distraction of everyday life. Making sure you stay productive and meet targets is a big chunk of staying focused.If you can’t stay focused at home, it can be a problem. The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas offers some tips to help you stay focused and productive while working from home:
1. Get dressed. Working in your robe and slippers may be comfortable, but it is important to maintain a sense of professionalism. Do you need to be in a three-piece suit or a pencil shirt? No. However being business causal even at home is a good idea and promotes a sense of professionalism and routine, even if it’s just for you.

2. If you have the space at home, create a “real” office. A comfy couch is enticing, but again, does nothing to promote that sense of professionalism. Putting your feet up on the coffee table may not be great for your body long term anyway. Having a “business” space will make you more motivated and productive. If you will be working at home long term, consider investing in office furniture as well for your home office.

3. Keep regular working hours so you’re not distracted from your business deadlines. Don’t take personal calls or let friends drop in for a visit. This simply comes down to keeping yourself scheduled. This also means not scheduling personal appointments during business hours. Do like you would at any office and keep personal appointments after hours if possible. This isn’t to say don’t take breaks as even at the office this needs to happen, so schedule some in at home too.

4. Keep regular meal times. Maintain a schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Having your own kitchen available all day means you might be persuaded to constantly snack. It’s a distraction and can eat up valuable time. If you have to snack, keep good quality food at your disposal.

5. Avoid chores. Yes, your sink might be full of dirty dishes and your laundry need folding, but those can wait. Getting stuff done around the house is very tempting while you’re there; however, those things need to be done as if you were heading into the office, in the morning or after hours. For some, one of the downsides of a home-based business is the compelling feeling of working all the time. When the day is done, try to turn off the computer and perhaps mute the cell phone.

Extract from article by: Leah Napoliello, Senior Director of Investigative Services, Better Business Bureau, Houston, TX.

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