Working from home isn’t my idea of a good time. My apartment space is too distracting and I often feel a little overwhelmed by the fact that I do not have access to everything at my office desk. But sometimes family emergencies, bad weather or a sudden cold can keep me out of the office and need to work from home. Below are some of the things I have learned which makes working at home successful and productive.
The Right Environment is Key
Finding the right work space is important. Where and how can you be the most productive? If you know music or the television is going to be distracting, stay away from your entertainment system. Are you working from a laptop or a desktop? Working from a laptop will allow you to transition from room to room to find the right space. If you are working from a stationary desktop make sure your space isn’t cluttered or messy. Clutter can easily distract you from your work, making working from home completely unproductive.
Create and Stick to a Schedule
Just like at the office, you need to create your to-do list for the day and stick to it. But don’t forget to schedule breaks to eat or grab coffee. You need time to recharge at home just like you do at the office. Creating a schedule also lets you prioritize what tasks are most important. Do you have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon? Do you need to pick the kids up from soccer practice later in the day? Creating a schedule allows you to put the most important items at the top of your list so you can block out time to attend to your other responsibilities.
Stay Connected to Your Coworkers
Communicating with other members of your team is very important. Make sure your cell phone or work phone is turned on so you can easily be reached. At Roundpeg we rely on Google Talk (GChat) as a way to keep in touch with each other. Since we all let it run in the background all the time, it is easy for us to send quick direct messages requesting information or providing status updates. Faster than a phone call, it is a great way to share links and even a joke or two. After awhile, Gchatting is almost as natural as talking and you will find yourself feeling as if you are still sitting right there in the office with your coworkers. If you need a more interactive method of communicating try Google Hangouts, Skpye or GoToMeeting. Of course you can always simply pick up the phone too.
When you need to access larger files from company servers, tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive make file sharing with your coworkers or clients a breeze.
Whether you love to work from home, or loathe it, the reality is you will eventually have to do it. Many experts believe telecommuting is the future of work. Don’t get overwhelmed. Use these tips to help you stay focused and productive while outside of the office. Make sure to stick to your schedule and find the right space to get your work done. Who knows, you might actually get more work done than at the office (or you could just admire baby sloths all day).
Ready to start working from home? Figuring out your marketing budget may be a great way to spend your remote work hours. Download our marketing budget resource to get started: