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Maintaining a professional work ethic can be a difficult task whilst working at home – there is absolutely no doubt about that. When daily targets need to be hit but distractions are everywhere, with only yourself to keep you on track, how can you maintain your professionalism?

Here are 5 ways to make sure you remain professional when working from home:

Prepare in advance

Organisation is critical to your chances of success. Finding that your broadband is disconnected and that the kids are home from school is the definition of poor organisation. To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to prepare in advance by making others aware of your presence as well as having everything you need, including a computer, workstation, phone and printer.

Stick to the same working hours

The key to maintaining a professional working attitude is keeping to the hours you regularly work. There is the temptation to start and finish at irregular times whilst working at home, but keeping to the same routine is likely to make the transition as seamless as possible – which is always the aim. Regardless of temptations or distractions, between 9-5, you should act as if you are in an office.

Dress smartly

Although you will be out of the office, dressing appropriately is key to working at home. Whether you have client meetings or not, looking professional puts you in the right mind-set and reinforces the high standards you’ve set.

Set daily goals

In order to keep on track, goals are important. They can validate your progress and give you confidence that you’re doing well. Working at home can be a lonely experience with little feedback, so the best homeworkers will often set and meet goals to help them feel secure.

Stay Connected

Keeping track of your own personal progress is important but it is also crucial that you keep up to date with your colleagues too. Arranging a specific day for telecommuting over Skype or setting up a meeting in person is advised. Work after all is a collaborative effort, and everyone needs to know where things stand.

The key to working at home is maintaining your professionalism. Whilst there will be certainly be distractions with little feedback available, these tips give you the best chance of succeeding and making your home a fruitful office.