No, working from home is not just about hanging out in your pajamas all day working in a leisurely manner. People often assume it’s super easy: No getting up early, no dressing professional, no commuting, no dealing with petty office politics. There’re perks, but it’s not all easy and it may not be the right fit for some people. There are folks who have the necessary self-discipline, while others wouldn’t be able to resist the T.V. or Xbox. Homes are designed for, and associated with, time off and relaxing. But traditional workplaces are designed to create the optimal work environment. The workday is regimented and people will notice if you’re slacking, arrive late or leave early. It may be a challenge if you’ve been working in a traditional workplace for years. Here are a few tips to successfully transition to working from home.
You Need Self-Discipline
This is the number one must-have characteristic. Treat it like a normal job with a set schedule. Get up, start working, and clock out at the same time every day. Lots of self-discipline is also necessary to complete projects with less supervision than you may be used to. You’re always communicating via email and IM, but sometimes supervisors may forget telecommuters. Stay in regular contact, but also be prepared to solve smaller problems yourself.
Strategic focus is crucial when you’re working from home. It’s often harder to stay focused with all the potential distractions calling to you: Chores, children, pets, TV, and the internet can easily distract you multiple times in one 8-hour shift. Some tips to manage distractions and stay focused include:
- Play music that helps you concentrate.
- Put your smart phone just out of reach so it’s not too easy to grab when you get bored.
- Make it clear to your family what hours are for working only.
- Close the door when deadlines are looming.
- Make your work station comfortable with plenty of light and an ergonomically sound chair.
- Remove distractions from the immediate vicinity.
Time Management and Organization
Less direct supervision means excellent time management skills are required. You still have to deliver on time just like office workers, but there won’t be anyone else around to remind you that specific tasks need to get done. Organize the priority of personal and professional tasks and dedicate enough time for each. Set a schedule to efficiently proceed through the usual daily tasks like emails so you have enough time for the big stuff. Don’t forget to pencil in time for breaks. Sitting at a computer for hours is bad for your physical and emotional health. Look away from the computer screen occasionally, stand up and do a some stretches every few hours, and step outside for some fresh air.
Set Up Your Own Work Station
Ideally, dedicate one room or corner just for your work area with a desk, computer, and whatever else you’ll need. Only you should be allowed to use your work computer. There’re a lot of good reasons for having a separate office with a door, including the ability to banish distractions, communicate that it’s work time, and at the end of the workday be able to leave your desk, close the door, and not see work again until the next morning. This makes it easier to mentally leave behind the stresses and worries of work.
Get Out of the House
Cabin fever is a common risk, so take opportunities to get out of the house and interact with people in person: meet friends for a happy hour, join a book club, volunteer, and have date nights with your spouse. Also, working from home exacerbates unhealthy sedentary lifestyles, so schedule time for exercise. Jump on the treadmill in the morning, take a walk during your lunch hour, and/or join an after-work yoga or Pilates class. There are many benefits with telecommuting for both the employer and the worker. It also reduces wage disparities and helps working parents, military spouses, and disabled people participate in the work force. But working from home is not the same as working in an office. [bctt tweet=" Being aware of the differences, challenges, necessary skills, and your own tendencies will help you succeed working from home."] The big advantage of telecommuting is you can do it anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable internet connection. The same is true with the convenient career training from Meditec. Browse the on-demand training programs for a variety of industries such as medical, business, legal, and design. Enroll today!