The importance of being organised when working from home

Working at home means organising your time, paperwork and finances

Working from home does require a greater degree of organisation. There is no one else to do the books, get the post out on time or remember deadlines.

Discipline is important, although often the thought of no rules is the very reason for working at home. Some organisation, though, will keep others from constantly hounding you.

Much depends on what service you are providing. If you are feeding information to others, then you need to be on time and appear professional. If you are making something, then the quality of your work will overcome other shortcomings such as deadlines but delivering something on time will always endear you to the client.

Keeping up with the paperwork is often an appalling thought – but use the lure of how you will spend the money to help you keep invoicing up to date and fear of running up an unnecessary tax bill to keep your receipts in order.

Separating work and home life

Separating home and work life is crucial, not just for you, but for your friends and family. It is not fair to rely on others all the time and they will soon resent it.

It is also important that you take time out. One friend said he moved his office so it did not look out over his garden. Watching the children playing and the grass growing just reminded him of what else he should be doing.

A good idea, but you do need relaxing time. In an office environment people are being interrupted by phone calls, by the sandwich vendor doing the rounds or going for a cigarette break. Having short breaks can help the concentration and it should be the same for the homeworker.

Turning off the office phone at the end of the day is also vital – somehow people in offices forget you are at home and that it may be your toddler who takes the call after 5pm. They may choose to work late but why should that impose on you. If you were in a regular office job, you would leave your desk and go home – you should do the same at home.

Having short breaks can help concentration and it should be the same for the homeworker.

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