3. Closed office door means no entry. No knocking. No high pitch squeals or wrestling matches right outside the office door. Of course, there will be exceptions, but constant interruptions should not be tolerated. If you have a noisy pet, move them to another room or outside during important calls. If your neighbor has a noisy pet you may have to move (or threaten a call to animal control).
4. Dont become the go to person for all errands. There is a certain convenience of availability that working from home offers, but dont fall into the trap of always being 100% available for every sick child, doctor appointment, home repair guy, etc. It is okay to say no because you have to keep consistency through your day - - and errands are meant to be shared, regardless of where you work.
5. Get out of the house! If you have no physical office that you can go to every once in a while, I strongly recommend finding a work spot away from home. About once a week, I go to my local Panera Bread that has free Wi-Fi. It breaks up my week and provides me and my family some needed space. And it is okay to do lunch even if it is just a quick ride for fast food. You need to find time to clear your head, and a change of scenery can spur creative thinking.
6. Hone your time management skills. Beyond keeping to a schedule, be careful not to get distracted by things you should not be thinking about during the work day. If your home phone rings, let the answering machine get it. If the faucet is dripping, let it drip. You wouldnt fix a leaky faucet at the office would you?
7. Dont hog the house resources. If you share space with family or a roommate, dont expect them to share a computer, phone line, etc. while you are working. Your company should provide you with a work computer, a dedicated phone line or just use your cell phone. The flip side is to make sure your kids (or roommates) know that your work computer is off limits. Lord only knows what your kids will download probably not much worse than what your roommate might download.
8. Most important: Dont be afraid to enjoy the perks of working from home. Turn up the music, take a break to play with your kids, take the dog for a long walk after lunch, or spend some extra quality time with your spouse. And Ill admit every now and then I work in my pajamas. As for my interrupted demo, I smiled at my daughter and then soldiered on, having learned to concentrate on the task at hand. Plenty of time to play with the cute munchkin later, but at that moment it was daddys responsibility to work not play.