IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE – In the print news business, reporters use a dateline when they are filing their story from a location other than the city in which they are based. The only rule is that you should be physically in that location when you send the dispatch to your editors, wherever they may be. On a bitterly cold bitter day, I am working from home. My dateline: “In front of the fireplace” reflects that I am not working from my office when I write and file this post with my staff.
Some people like to work from home – telecommuting is one word that is sometimes used to describe that which was once an unorthodox work relationship. It is a work setting that many people fantasize about without any thought as to how different it will be to join the so-called free agent nation and work from the home office. Some colleagues expressed shock that there was a learning curve.
So here are some things to consider:
- Set up your work space. Establish a dedicated space, away from the sound of barking dogs, screaming kids or a spouse with a “honey-do” list. If you don’t have a whole room to dedicate, then you could visit Versare and purchase a room divider to close your space off from the rest of the world. Install a landline telephone if you do not have stellar cellular service where you live. There is a correlation between dropped calls and lost business or job opportunities. Establish some house rules: the office should not be a playground or storage area for kid toys or a hobby/storage annex for the spouse.
- Establish a routine. This is extremely important whether your full-time job is finding a job or any other type of business. Having the discipline as to how you will spend your day is critical. Some early converts to working from home, especially those with the “freedom” of working for themselves, fill their days with work that is not related to the most important goal: finding new business or a job.
- Dress the part. I am old school about appropriate business attire and I would argue there is evidence that I am right – there is a connection between how you dress, how you act and the success you achieve. If you are always working in a bathrobe and hair rollers or a pair of cutoffs and a t-shirt that is a mere two steps away from the garage rag bag, then your lack of success will not be surprising to those who have mastered the environment. Be purposeful and serious. That is part of the discipline and routine.
- Productivity planning tools ARE important. Keep regular office hours and plan your days. Even if you unrealistically do not like computers, keep a journal and a paper calendar. You can also utilize a voice api system if you need to be contacted by phone remotely. Schedule your time every day. We all have things we like and do not like. We almost always will do the things we like first before we that other stuff. Some people who were highly effective in a traditional office, flop and flounder in a home office environment and it is usually based on their inability to manage their time as effectively as when they worked in traditional space. Productivity tools can help you stay on track. For example, Digital Twin Technology is a way of representing complex physical environments digitally such as a large building, factory, airport, or an oil refinery, making it easier to manage and thus increasing your productivity.You can read this great post by Vantiq for more information.
- Avoid distractions/time wasters. The television, computer games and the refrigerator are examples. The TV and computers contribute to time-wasting while the refrigerator is all about weight gain. Avoid wasting time and focus on staying fit and healthy with high levels of energy, all of which are important to being successful in a home office environment.