The Trials and Tribulations of Working From Home
Tips on How to Work From Home
Things are changing in the workplace; working at home is becoming a more common occurrence. However, as appealing as working from home sounds, it requires a disciplined work ethic the same way an office job way. When most people think of working from home, they think of sleeping in late and working whenever they feel like it. Simply put, WRONG.
Discipline Yourself or Fire Yourself
To most effectively work from home you need to develop a routine and stick with it regularly. First step is to figure out how many and which hours you will work during the week. While working from home provides flexibility, having a fixed schedule for when you will start your work will increase your productivity. Part of planning a disciplined schedule is figuring out when to take breaks. No one is telling you that you have X amount of time to take a lunch break; therefore, it is up to you to monitor your own time.
Another important aspect to consider while forming your routine is finding a good place to work in your house. Ideally, you want the space to have as minimum distractions as possible. I like to avoid working in my bedroom because it becomes hard to differentiate my work space from my relaxing space. Sometimes, I feel the need to switch it up and while I am still ‘working from home’ I will spend the day working at a Starbucks.
While working from home has its advantages, one of the disadvantages is the lack of immediate interaction with your co-workers/employees. Unfortunately, when you work from home you cannot just page someone and 5 minutes later have him or her appear in your office. Therefore, you and your contacts must figure out the best way to stay connected to one another. I suggest using email as key communication, scheduling phone calls or meetings, and if it is really urgent use texting.
…But be patient!
Since communication isn’t as instantaneous, patience and scheduling are always important to remember. Anyone working from home needs to carve out their own space and downtime, so they do not always have to be plugged in. This is where the significance of scheduling your work hours comes into play. If you say you are working from 10-4 on Monday and you receive an email at 8PM from a co-worker, you are not obligated to start working again.
There are a few different ways to separate your work time from your downtime. Going off of my previous example, if you received an email past your working hours you a) do not have to check your email past a certain time b) you can read it and do nothing until the next day or c) send a quick email back and say you’ll get to it tomorrow. Personally, I like to stop checking my email at a certain time each day, so I do not feel obligated or stressed to immediately address it.
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