Working from the comfort of your home has many benefits including flexibility, no early morning commutes, office politics or annoying colleagues. That said, it’s not without its challenges, which, if not managed will leave you feeling isolated, disillusioned and either over-worked or unproductive.

Make the most of working from home with these top tips and say goodbye to the office forever.

Maintain a schedule

Discipline is key to working from home successfully. Without it, you will either get very little done or you’ll work yourself into the ground. Whether it’s 9-5 or 8-4, establish your working hours and stick to them. Be mindful of the time you spend on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Cat videos are funny, but they won’t pay the bills!

Set targets

Working from home is still work. It’s still about making a living. Set yourself monthly, weekly and annual targets. These targets are crucial to keeping you and your livelihood on track, instilling discipline and maintaining your productivity.

Don’t work in your sleepwear

If you have notions of working in your pyjamas and dressing gown forget it. As comfortable as you may feel, it’s a slippery slope. Whilst there’s no need to wear a suit, having a shower and getting dressed, is the basic level of personal professionalism that you should commit to, plus it puts you in the right frame of mind for the working day ahead.

Over-working is as detrimental to your livelihood as underperforming

Exercise

Working from home requires little physical movement. There’s no walk or cycle to the station, no walks to the water cooler or coffee machine throughout the day and unless you live in a very large house, you’ll find that you’re just not moving around that much. Incorporate daily exercise into your routine, it’s important for your well-being.

Take breaks

Like exercising, taking breaks throughout the day will do you the world of good. Start with the standard 2-3 short breaks and a longer lunch break and tailor this to suit your schedule. Use your breaks as an opportunity to get away from your desk, stretch your legs and refresh your mind.

Plan holidays

Burning out is just as easy to do working from home as it is in a high-pressure office environment. Being self-employed comes with a lot of financial pressures which often makes home workers reluctant to take sufficient time off. If this is a concern for you, taking regular shorter holidays is better than not taking time out at all. Over-working is as detrimental to your livelihood as underperforming and over time will affect your health, which is your most valuable asset.

Set Boundaries

Make sure that your friends and family know your working hours and respect them. Constant interruptions or frequent impromptu errands are distractions that will eventually impact your bottom line and compromise your ability to work in a professional manner.

impromptu errands are distractions that will eventually impact your bottom line

Stay Social

Working from home can be very lonely and isolating. Be sure to meet with friends and socialise regularly. If possible, work from a café or hot desk from time to time.