How to Stay Focused When Working From Home

John Krautzel
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There are a lot of powerful arguments for employees to work from home. In fact, many professionals rely on their home offices for days when they simply cannot make it in to their regular places of business. Some companies even have a dedicated group of home workers, but this environment is not always conducive for focused, attentive and productive hours, so it is important to know how to maintain focus while working from home.

Working from home can be something of a mixed blessing, depending on your ability to maintain focus and stay organized during the work day. For some, it's merely a change of venue, and their day-to-day routines change very little. Others find that when they work from home, they fall victim to many of the household distractions and temptations that are present there. Overcoming these means keeping yourself on task, something that is far easier when you have a dedicated workspace.

If your home has the space for it, designating a room or specific area as your home office can help give you the space you need and allow you to close yourself off from potential distractions. This is especially helpful if you only work from home on rare occasions and aren't accustomed to doing office work in this environment.

It can also be helpful to designate your working hours clearly and firmly. Not only will this help you stay on task during those hours, but it will help your family adjust to the idea. Children may have a hard time making the distinction, but a spouse or significant other will have a clear signal that you aren't available for idle chatter during that time.

It can also be helpful to keep your work area organized in the same manner as your business office if you only work from home occasionally. The similarities will help you stay in the right mindset. Further, make sure you are getting ready for work at home in the same way that you prepare for working in a business office. That means shower and dress as if you were not working from home. If you work with clients face to face, being prepared and dressed appropriately can help maintain your level of professionalism as well and ensure you are ready in the event that one of your clients needs to meet with you.

Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out to work from home. Even with all the tools at hand and all the distractions eliminated, some people simply lack the focus necessary to work in such a familiar setting. By cutting down on distractions and putting yourself in the right frame of mind, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls.

(Photo courtesy of Ambro /


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