Work From Home More Efficiently
By: Peter Girard
Does your job allow you to work from home? Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. Luckily, there are some tips out there to help make getting things done from home a little easier. The folks over at Fast Company put together a great short little video that I have embedded down below. Having only worked from home on a few occasions (mostly weather related, 3 cheers for New England winters) I’m not an expert on the subject, but if I were to work from home more often, I’d take their suggestions to heart.
- Wake Up Early – No commute? Awesome, you’ve scored yourself some extra snooze time but be sure to online and ready to work at exactly the same time you would be if you were headed to the office.
- Dress the Part – It’s tempting to get up and work in your PJ’s but you might be setting yourself up for failure. Your cozy, warm pajamas are secretly telling you brain and body that you should be snuggled up and relaxed, which can be a hard feeling to fight off when you’re supposed to be marking things off your to-do list and getting things done.
- Set Your Hours – You’re still working, you’re just not working from the office. Try your best to adhere to the same hours you would if you were in the office. If you leave your desk at 5:30 PM, then make a mental note to power off at home at the same time.
- Create A Work Area – Working from the kitchen table is going to lose its appeal real fast, especially if you’re working from home more than a few times per year. Designate a room or area in your house to be your work space. Pick a place where you’ll be able to work for extended periods of time free from distraction. (a.k.a. working directly in front of the TV would be an example of a poor place to set up shop)
- Take Breaks! – The same rule applies even if you’re working from home. Just like it’s important to power-off at the same time you’d leave the office, if you take a coffee break at 11:30 AM at the office, take a break at the same time at home. One of the benefits of working from home is having your own personal cafeteria minutes away, make sure you take advantage of that and take a break to eat lunch or a snack.
- Establish Work Hours with Family – This is something that’s a little bit easier for someone in my shoes (not married, no kids, etc.) but I can definitely see how this is one of the biggest hurdles of working from home. If you’re able, hire a baby sitter to watch the kids, even though you’re home so you can focus on work and if you wouldn’t answer the phone in the office when a friend calls, don’t answer it at home.
- Communicate – You may not be physically in the office, but you’re still at-work. Communicate frequently via email or if a conversation requires a phone call or video call, make it happen. (video conferences are just another reason to ‘dress the part’)
- To-Do List – Track what you’re working on and what you need to get done. This will help shape your day and increase your ability to stay on track.
That about wraps it up. How about it home-workers? Is this a pretty comprehensive list, or are there some missing tips? I’d love to hear what your work from home tips are. Feel free to reach out on Twitter to @CasterPete.