Working from home can be as awesome as it sounds. There’s no boss breathing down your neck, you can wear whatever you want, there are no annoying co-workers bothering you with the latest office drama, and smartphones make emailing and managing appointments easy as ever.
But one person’s paradise is another person’s pitfall: There’s no boss to keep you motivated; some people feel directionless if they don’t dress for work; it’s really hard to bond with co-workers you’ve never met in real life; and the temptation is always there to do something – anything – besides work.
So how do you ensure that your work-from-home experience is a successful one? Check out our tips below.
1. Set boundaries: A lot of people choose to work from home because it gives them more time with their families. However, the home worker must be careful to set boundaries with the people they live with so that family time doesn’t bleed into work time. Make liberal use of babysitters and, if needed, housekeepers. And don’t trick yourself into feeling better about procrastination by doing personal chores. Loading or unloading your dishwasher on the clock is pretty harmless, but embarking on a massive closet reorganization project is not.
2. Find your Zen place: Every home worker needs a place to go in their house that is theirs and theirs alone. Some people need a full-on home office, complete with a desk, printer and scanner, while others need only a quiet room where they can close the door. Figure out what works best for you.
4. Have a routine: It’s essential that you establish a routine and incorporate breaks right from the start. You might be tempted to think you can indulge in a “Breaking Bad” binge during the work day and then make up for it on the weekend. That’s a bad way to go, and it potentially sets you up for the formation of bad work-from-home habits. If you’re having trouble focusing, take a timedbreak and go for a walk to clear your head.
5. Stay on the boss’s radar: Not having a boss constantly poking their head in your cubicle can be an adjustment for both manager and employee alike. Work out a regular check-in system with your boss – whether it’s through instant messaging, email or even video chat – so you can establish a touch point, receive feedback on your work, and generally let them know you’re actually working.
YOU’RE A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE
The fact of the matter is that a lot of your work-from-home success will depend on setting up an environment that works best foryou. If you’re the kind of person who has to put on a tie and sit at a desk to feel productive, then do that. Pay attention to what interferes with your productivity, and cut them out of your workday.
If you want to read more about it, here is our book recommendation. Share us your comments and try to do more with less work.