When most people thing about working from home, visions of sleeping in late, lounging in their comfy pajamas and long leisurely lunches is the first thought that typically comes to mind. However, what people need to realize is that even though working from home offers great flexibility, it is still a very professional job that needs to be treated as such.
Today, working from home is becoming increasingly popular because many organizations are struggling to afford office space and hire and pay talented staff. In addition, employees want flexibility and choice in their work, whether that is to get rid of their time-consuming commutes to avoid paying high gas fees or simply to be closer to family. These hiring pressures and operating costs paired with a huge increase of in-home broadband access, cloud-based tools, and smart phones make working from a home an easy option for a growing number of organizations to consider.
While working from home may be a growing trend, many workers question how they should conduct themselves. Here are a few tips on how to successfully work from home:
- Set a routine
If working from home is going to be an everyday thing, setting a routine is an essential step to your success. Just like a busy structured day in the office, it is important to learn to structure your day in a similar way at home. Set hours for yourself and schedule tasks throughout the day to give you direction. Make the routine and stick to it every day. Be sure to include a time to get a quick bite to eat too!
- Separate work from home
Many workers find that the most challenging part about working from home is separating your work-life from your home-life. To avoid having an unhealthy imbalance between the two, stick to the hours you have set for yourself to work. When you are outside of those hours, turn off the computer, leave your in-home office and go for a walk – it is important to disconnect from work.
- Get out of the house
Just because you do not work in a big corporate office does not mean that you are tied down to one place. On days when you wake up feeling unmotivated or maybe even a little stir-crazy, switch up your in-home office a bit and check out a local coffee shop down the road. By switching up your environment, you will prevent yourself from having an unproductive, antsy-feeling kind-of-day!
- Stay connected
Working remotely can sometimes feel a bit isolated and lonely. To avoid feeling bored and disconnected, schedule a coffee meeting or lunch date to meet with clients outside of your home on a regular basis. Simply heading to a bustling coffee shop for an example can prevent you from feeling disconnected from the world.
- Recognize Distractions
Working from home typically provides more distractions than an office environment. From barking dogs to crying kids, your day can unfortunately get interrupted more often that you’d like it to. In these moments, you might feel agitated and frustrated that your day is not going as planned. It is important to take a deep breath and recognize the distractions and take the time you need to regroup so you can get back to focusing on your work.
- Dress for work
When you work from home, there really is no dress code to abide to, but that shouldn’t mean that anything goes when it boils down to what to wear. It is important to at least change out of your pajamas and into day clothes when you work remotely. While you may not technically need to get out of your sleep clothes or even shower really, many telecommuters say that doing the basics helps to separate work time from personal time to keep a positive mental outlook on life.
Working from home is on the rise as more and more businesses offer remote options to their employees. If you have been graced with the ability to work from home, follow our six steps for success – you will thanks us later!