While many IT professionals have successfully worked from home for a long time, many more are now doing it for the first time. Often first timers find the lines between professional and personal life blurred and struggle to maintain a high level of productivity. If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry. There are tricks of the trade that will help you get on track. Here are 10 tips from longtime telecommuters.

Designated Workspace

Veterans of working from home strongly recommend that you set up a designated space that is only used for working. This will help you stay organized and provide you with some degree of separation between your professional and personal life. This can be an office or just a corner in a room. The important thing is that this space is only used for work.

Stay on Schedule

Routines and schedules are your friend. If you are new to telecommuting, you should consider keeping the same schedule you had when you were working onsite. This will make the transition easier and keep you on the same schedule as your team members. That being said, it’s ok to take advantage of benefits that come from working at home. If you need to step away during the middle of the day to tend to a personal issue, do it.

Close the Door When You Finish

Our connected universe makes it hard to leave work at the office. After hours texts, weekend emails and phone calls during dinner are difficult to avoid when working from an office building. Working from home can exacerbate this. The pros recommend that when you finish working for the day, close the door to your office. This can be literally closing the door, or figuratively if you are working in the corner of your living room. The idea is that when the whistle blows, you leave the office behind and enter your home. This is essential for maintaining work-life balance.

Communication, Communication, Communication

Effective communication is essential to any successful project. That can be tricky for a new telecommuter. You’ll discover that a lot of your communications with colleagues, employees, and managers were informal. Gone are chats by the watercooler, passing a colleague in the hallway, poking your head into your boss’s office, and lunchroom conversations. Use all of the tools you have available to stay in contact with your team members. In addition to the normal channels you are accustomed to using, add two other platforms. Use a video conferencing app for face-to-face meetings and conference calls. Then choose a chat application. Make certain that everyone on the team keeps this app open and use it to replace the watercooler.

Take a Break

When working from home it can be tempting to neglect breaks so you can push through your project. The logic is that if you just work through lunch, or skip breaks, you’ll finish earlier and get on to your personal life. Experienced telecommuters will tell you that this logic is flawed. Just like at your old office, it is important to take breaks at your home office. Stretch your legs, go for a walk, or get a bite to eat. It’s good for you mentally, physically, and productively.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.