Working from Home

Working remotely is an ever-growing trend in today’s workforce. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, “3.7 million employees (2.5% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.” This leads us to the question, how are all these people successfully working in a non-traditional office space? Do they really work in their pajamas all day? And are they really putting in the traditional 8 hours of work? Well, we’ve done a little digging and here are our tips for having a productive workday from home:

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1. Create a designated work space
It is important that you create a specific work area within your home. This will allow you to be more productive during your workday. The space needs to be free of the many distractions that are present in our living spaces (TV, dirty dishes, laundry…) It needs to be the place you go to do nothing else but work.

2. Stick to a routine
Just like you would if you were going into an office, you need to set a routine for yourself. This includes waking up at a “normal” workday time, showering, and putting on real clothes. You will not have a successful, productive workday sitting around in your pajamas all day. You are a professional, so dress like one. By no means do you have to put on a suit, but try and stick with attire that you would wear in public. Additionally, set a starting time for yourself. It’s easy to keep pushing back your start time by 20 minutes or so in the morning, but you will be more productive if you create a time that you need to be in your “office.” Along those same lines, decide upon a quitting time. This will ensure you put in your minimum work time and not be tempted to skip out early.

3. Be available
When working remotely you need to be available to your coworkers and those who depend on you to get their job done. In fact you may need to be more available than if you were in the office in order to combat the negative stigma that can accompany telecommuting. You may need to prove that you are still as valuable from home as you were in the office, so answer those phone calls and respond to all email in a timely manner.

4. Schedule social interaction
It is possible to go an entire day without speaking to another person when you work from home. Make sure that doesn’t happen on a regular basis. Schedule a lunch with a coworker or friend, have one of your conference calls be over Skype, or simply grab a quick coffee at your local shop. These small amounts of human interaction will help to make your telecommuting experience more enjoyable and in turn, more productive.

Did we miss any tips for successfully working from home? We’d love to hear your input!

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