Offering the option and freedom to work from home is becoming more commonplace, especially as more and more jobs move to be partly or entirely computer-based. However, almost half of Canadian professionals (49%) admit they actually encounter difficulties concentrating when working from their home office, according to a survey of 533 Canadian professionals by Regus, a provider of flexible work spaces.
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The main distractions when working from home include:
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children and family wanting attention (60%)
inability to access proper office equipment (28%)
the desire to complete household chores (26%)
the temptation to keep TV on as “company” (24%)
lack of proper work space (18%).
“Working from home gives people more flexibility and control over how and when they work. And, that’s a good thing,” said Wes Lenci, vice-president at Regus Canada. “But employers need to be conscious of the challenges these remote workers face, and be ready to provide them with alternate workplace options so employees can continue to be engaged, connected and motivated.”
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Lenci suggests home workers consider the following guidelines to overall improve the work-at-home experience:
Create parameters: Set rules with family and friends, and let them know when you are not available. Most importantly, ensure they are aware of any scheduled conference calls in order to limit any background noises or interruptions, so clients don’t feel you’re working in an unprofessional environment.
Establish a routine: Set blocks of time for work and stick to the schedule. Do not turn on the television during your set working hours, and laundry can wait until after 5 p.m.
Keep lines of communication open: Maintaining regular contact with colleagues and managers will ensure status of projects and deadlines are understood by all. This means it will keep you motivated to stay ahead while working from home.