A lot of companies are structured to allow people to telecommute from home. This can be a win-win situation, especially if you live far from the office or have children to take care of at home.
Here are 5 quick tips on how to maximize your working from home experience:
1. Set aside your work space. First and foremost, it needs to be a space where you can’t view the laundry pile to be folded, the TV shows that your kids have on, or any other projects that you have to do at home.
If you don’t have a separate room to work in, then invest in a room divider or a screen to separate your work area from your home area. Then, establish this place as strictly for work. Your kids and/or spouse need to know that when you’re in your space, then you are working and are not to be disturbed unless there is a fire or emergency greater than a paper cut.
2. Make a Schedule and Stick to It! Time-blocking your day is a great way to let everyone around you know when you’ll be working. If the kids know you’ll be working at certain times, then they will get on a routine too.
If your friends are aware that you work between the hours of 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., they will learn to not text or call you during that time, especially if you are strict with your work hours and don’t answer the calls or texts until you are done working.
3. Make a Non-Negotiable To-Do List. Make a list that you WILL get done before you take the kids to the park, run errands, do the breakfast dishes or whatever else is on your home to-do list.
If you make a list that is doable and prioritize it, chances are you will accomplish it faster than you thought possible.
4. Set Regular Meetings with Real People. Stay in touch with your boss, your co-workers and other people vital to your success with regular face-to-face meetings. People who telecommute often comment that they lose touch with the goals and mission of the company without regular (even just monthly) face to face meetings.
In the digital world we live in, it’s a lot easier not to make time to meet with real people, but in reality, these meetings are crucial to success and keep you connected to people that are vital to your job.
5. Have a Little Fun. Working from home without the usual office banter and drama can get a little drab at times. Make sure you shake up your day a bit.
Grab lunch with a colleague, dance around the room with your kids during a 15 minute break from work, walk around the block when you need a breather – anything to keep you from being stagnant and stifling your creative juices!