Working from Home – A few weeks ago that was a much sought after perk. Today, with the rapidly spreading Covoid-19 virus, it is quickly becoming a necessity.
There is much to like about working from home, but like anything else there are pitfalls you must avoid, especially if this is your first experience.
“I thought, how hard can that be? Harder than I thought until I incorporated some “home office rules.”
I have worked from a home office in my loft/suite for 18 out of the more than 25 years of owning my own business. When I started, I struggled to stay concentrated and to be as focused as I was in traditional workplace. Work from home, I thought, how hard can that be? Harder than I thought until I incorporated some “home office rules.” Working from home can be difficult somedays. People can easily run into technological problems with their internet, for example. If this happens regularly, it might be worth looking into some wow internet plans instead. They should be quicker and more reliable, allowing home workers to get on with their work without any connectivity issues.
Here are the five lessons I learned:
- Dress for work. While I rarely went into my home office in bedtime attire, there were several times I found myself taking important calls in less than business casual dress. The work you do is important. Dress like it. Wearing a coat and tie every day is not what I am talking about. That is a little over the top but how you dress affects how you perform, from the tone of your voice to your attention to detail.
- Establish a routine. Plan your day the night before then work it religiously. Stick with the routine. The goal is to be more efficient and productive, not less.
- Establish House Rules. Until I implemented some “home office” rules the distractions and interruptions cut into my effectiveness. The office is the office, not a part-time den for TV watching, or a playroom for the kids. It is hard to be taken seriously if the dog is barking, the baby is crying or the kids are playing cowboys and Indians. In order to limit distractions, it might also be worth looking into hiring some childcare. It’s believed that au pairs are more effective for childcare, especially if you have a spare room in the home for them to move into. This means that they’ll be able to look after the kids throughout your working hours. This should allow you to get on with work. Perhaps those working at home should consider reading about this further on Go Au Pair.
- Define Limits. Unless you have pressing business, stay out of the office at night and on the weekends. Slipping back into the office to finish up a few things while the family is occupied elsewhere can become a bad habit much easier than you can imagine. Be sure to retain your work/life balance. Just because your office is convenient does not mean you have to be there all the time.
- Stay Connected.Working from home is great but you cannot afford to become isolated from your colleagues. Schedule regular meetings in the office, coffee, and lunch sessions to ensure you remain “connected.” Putting into action software for scheduling, such as sd wan, will help with this and keep all employees plus employers together and communicating. Going out for lunch, a normal thing to do when you “work downtown,” should not become eat-at your-desk or lunch-at-the-kitchen-table everyday routine.
The New York Times feature a piece on working for home. This article focused on the technology of working from home. It is a useful read.
In addition to the technology issues, you should check your internet speed and consistency of your cell phone signal. To be effective, you will need a higher speed and a strong and consistent cell phone signal.