Working from home is becoming much more common. On the surface, it sounds ideal. You can work in your robe while you talk to your dog and might even have your favorite movie on in the background. When working remotely, your boss can't even track your internet time!
But working from home has its disadvantages, too. It's not as easy to get things done from home as you think. You can also go a little stir-crazy if you're not careful!
Use these strategies to make working from home productive and enjoyable:
1. Stick to a schedule. If your company offers you flexible hours, make yourself a program and stick to it.
- Get up at the same time each day.
- Stick to your regular grooming routine.
- Sit down to work at the same time each day.
- Plan your lunchtime.
- Quit working at a set time.
2. Dress effectively. Some people can take care of business just fine in their pajamas. Others might wear regular work clothes to get things done at a high level. Dress in a way that works for you.
3. Deal with the other people in your home. Kids, spouses, friends, neighbors, other family members, and pets can all be a distraction. Set boundaries and enforce them. You might have to tell your kids to leave you alone unless there is an emergency. You may tell friends to stay away until 5:00 PM.
- Each household is unique. Set rules that work for you, and don't be shy about ensuring everyone respects them.
4. Put in facetime. Use video conferencing tools or head to the office occasionally, if appropriate. Avoid only relying on the phone and emails for communication. It's beneficial to regularly see your coworkers, boss, employees, and clients or customers.
5. Plan breaks. Part of sticking to a schedule includes taking regular intervals. A break is an excellent time to clear your head, check on the kids, or let the dog out.
6. Get out of the house at least once each day. It helps mental and physical health to get out of the house for at least a little while each day. You could run to the store, take a walk, or do anything else that takes you out of your home for a bit.
7. Communicate more. Communication can be less effective when you don't have face-to-face contact. You'll likely need to communicate more to compensate for the lower quality of communication. Communicate as much as necessary to ensure everyone on your team knows what they need to know.
8. Have a dedicated workspace. It can be tempting to spread out on the kitchen bar. But are your papers going to stay where you put them? Can you have a decent phone conversation here? Are there too many distractions?
- Have a dedicated workspace that you and your family will respect.
9. Get some exercise. You might not think that you get a lot of movement at work, but you probably get more at work than you do while working at home.
- At work, you have to walk further to the bathroom. To get to your office, you walk from the parking lot. You might go out for lunch regularly. Walk to your boss's office or take files to another department. The coffee pot might be at the other end of the hallway.
- At home, everything is close to you. It makes a difference regarding how much movement you experience each day.
Enjoy your time working from home, but understand the potential drawbacks. It can be more challenging to get things done, and wasting time is much easier if you're not cautious. Working from home can have more distractions. It can also be more challenging psychologically if you're alone all day.
Look at your job responsibilities, home life, and quirks. Develop a process that works for you. Remote work has many benefits; you can make the most out of it if you do it right.
If you're looking for a remote position, you can look at our latest job postings here. If you have your own business and want to implement remote work in your company, contact us, and we'll help you find the most suitable VA!