Satellite Strategies: Tips on Working from Home Productively
Is the modern workplace outdated? Well, consider that in the 21st century more business is done in a global economy, shattering the old 9 to 5 workday model. Factor in the increasing time and expense of commuting, plus the recent announcement that each of the NYC-area tunnels will be shutting down long-term for repairs, and it becomes clear that working from home is now a far more viable option.
Don’t feel left out just yet. There’s great news on the horizon! More companies are of the understanding that a satellite platform is appropriate for their workforce, and you may soon be part of it. The realization that not appearing at the office does not equate to less productivity is about to place many progressive companies ahead of the curve. As a matter of fact, in many instances, satellite workers prove more productive! This, however, requires a level of discipline and some administrative adjustments on the part of the at-home worker. If you eventually find yourself as a satellite employee, or if you’re one already, here are some tips for keeping your routine, maintaining high productivity, and living up to the privilege.
Reinvent the Concept of Scheduling
Creating and following a blocked schedule has suited me well ever since I started my own business, and it can be the foundation for your satellite work week. Stylize your own weekly grid and plot team phone calls, network management and various correspondences. Include slots for snack breaks, dog walking, and most importantly….exercise.
Consider Email Differently
When your inbox tab is staring you down, you are more likely to be distracted by it, throwing you off schedule. The best solution is to “unplug” from email, tending to your messages only during 2 or 3 slotted opportunities throughout the day. Also, since you are in the privacy of your home office, take the liberty to dictate your outgoing drafts into your smartphone instead of typing them out. This will allow you to hear and troubleshoot any misleading phrasing as you compose, while speeding up the process. Don’t forget to proofread before sending.
Change of Scenery is a Must
Take the best advantage you can of the home you live in by changing the placement of your work station throughout the day. For instance, follow the sun by moving to the locations where the most sunlight pours in. If you have an outdoor space, spend as much time there as the weather will permit. And be sure that at least one of your work stations is a standing desk, as standing can increase your brain’s productivity, while too many hours of sitting can lead to various severe health issues.
A great way to keep your health in check while working remotely is to rethink what you eat, and when. Since you are no longer a slave to vending machines, limited lunch spot options and a noontime lunch hour, your diet can be customized accordingly. Instead of one heaping meal in the middle of the day, healthy snacks can be enjoyed at scheduled 15-minute intervals. At the start of your week, prepare some essentials like hummus & veggies, yogurt with seeds & nuts, steel-cut oatmeal, or my famous dirty virgin, and indulge in grown-up portions when the time arrives.
Ditch the 9 to 5 Mindset
The beauty of the satellite lifestyle is that you are free to determine when you are most effective. Do you typically feel drowsy at 2pm? Don’t hesitate to block off an afternoon nap segment. Kids get home from school at 3:30? Spend that time with them and return to your workday after 5.