As the workforce diversifies, businesses are finding opportunity in providing employees with the option to work from home. Companies such as Apple, Xerox and IBM offer a number of positions with either flexible working hours or telework options, and a recent survey by Global Workplace Analytics found that one in five Americans work from home at least one day per week.

If your company offers teleworking options, or if you are already enjoying the benefits of a telework program, here are six tips to help you make the most of your time:

Dress like you’re going into the office. Although it may seem like a perk to be able to work in your pajamas or sweats, dressing like a professional will enforce a professional mindset. Get up in the morning, shower and dress like you were walking into the office to meet with your colleagues; you’ll also be ready for impromptu meetings, or just answering the door.

Keep your workspace clean, as if you were at a traditional office and your coworkers had to see your desk each and every day. A cluttered environment will give you yet another excuse to procrastinate.

Get out of the house frequently. Seasoned professionals who work from home will tell you that they too often make the mistake of staying cluttered up inside with their work for days – or weeks – on end. When your work is at home, and particularly if you are passionate about your work, it can be all too easy to slip into the void and forget to take breaks. Fresh air and exercise will increase your productivity.

Maintain working hours for yourself – and enforce them. This is for your benefit as much as it is for your clients, supervisors, and colleagues. This doesn’t mean you need to be at your desk from 9am to 5pm; if you work best from 11am to 7pm, then keep those hours, but be honest and fair with yourself about how you use your time. Don’t be tempted to respond to non-emergency emails or calls outside your designated working hours. Working from home loses its savor if you allow yourself to work 70-hour weeks.

Focus like you aren’t at home. Working from home is a double-edged sword, and the most prominent drawback is that home is littered with distractions. The dog may bark, the doorbell may sound, the landline phone may ring – all of these serve to drive you away from productive and efficient use of your working hours. Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones if you can’t get away from the cacophony of a home-work environment.

Make it a point to spend in-person time with coworkers, clients, colleagues and friends. Meet with contacts in your professional and social circles on a regular basis; while telecommuting and networking online can be an effective way to manage a busy schedule, nothing can replace the value of face-time, particularly with a high-value client or promising referral source.

These pointers will help you focus on the task at hand when you’re working from home, and help you to maintain a productive and fruitful work-life balance. Do you have any tips that help you work from home? Kindly suggest them in the comments below.