Almost half of American professionals said they struggle staying productive when working from home due to distractions specific to family life, according to a recent Regus survey.

Among the listed distractions, 58 percent reported the largest was children and family wanting attention, 44 percent said it was children, family and pets disturbing work telephone calls.

Other distractions were difficulties accessing office equipment, noises such as the doorbell, washing machine and dishwasher and the temptation to keep the television on while working.

Here are five suggestions to improve working at home offered by Guillermo Rotman, CEO of Regus Americas:

Set guidelines. Let family and friends know when you are not available. In order to limit background noises, also inform them when there are scheduled conference calls

Establish a routine. Set hours for work time and stick with the schedule. This helps reduce getting burned out because you won't work around the clock. Keep the television off during these times.

Communicate openly. Keep regular contact with colleagues and managers. This keeps you motivated as you understand project and deadline status. Using videoconferencing and instant messaging helps with constant contact.

Have workspace options. There are various options of having a presence outside the home to meet with colleagues and clients, to print off documents, or even focus at a work desk. Spaces like these can be available by the hour.

Avoid isolation. Leave your home office once in a while to attend networking events, business lunches or drop in to a collaborative work environment. Continue networking with other professionals.