Written by Jamie
One of the best benefits and greatest challenges of the information technology age is the ability to work remotely. I’ve been able to take advantage of this flexibility in the past few years by working from home part time, and traveling to client sites as needed for meetings. I love being able to work from home a few days a week and find that it allows me to be more productive, but it isn’t for everyone. Here are a few tips to set you up for success while you are working remotely:
- Create boundaries: What will you and won’t you allow yourself to do while at home? For example, I will listen to music but refuse to turn on the television. If I need to run an errand during the day, I’ll use my lunch hour to do so or skip lunch so that I don’t cut into productive time.
- Create a schedule: Routine really helps me to ensure I stay on task and accomplish everything I need for work and my personal life. I wake up at the same time every morning and exercise before logging in to my work laptop. I try to have lunch at noon and then wrap up by 4pm. If I need to go into the office for a meeting, I try to schedule afternoon meetings so that I can catch up on email and other work before heading into the office.
- Exercise: Yoga, running, and bicycling are such a great stress relievers for me. Additionally, all three activities allow me to get out of the house, even if it’s just for a walk to my local yoga studio. I love starting my morning by getting my heart beating; it energizes me and eases me into the day.
- Stay social: One of the things I have struggled with while working remotely has been meeting new people and staying active in the community. In order to remain active and to prevent becoming too stir crazy, I’ve started emphasizing scheduling time with friends and trying out new activities. This allows me to fulfill my need for social activity and stay connected to the community.
- Make sure you have the right equipment: In order to be effective when working remotely, there are a few things you might want to purchase or request. Of course, you’ll need a computer or laptop, and it typically helps to have one with a camera so that you can do video conferencing from home. You also want to consider a printer and maybe also a scanner if you anticipate needing to bring printouts to meetings or scanning any documents to file.
These few steps should help get your organized and ready to work from home. Before committing to it, you should be very honest with yourself to determine whether you’ll be able to keep yourself on task and whether not seeing your co-workers on a daily basis will make you feel lonely or isolated. Working from home can be great if you have the right personality but could turn into a nightmare quickly if not.
Please share your thoughts: what have you done to ensure working remotely works for you and your company?
(Image credit: http://www.tnj.com/career/career-advice/working-home-driving-you-crazy-how-to-be-more-productive-your-home-office)