Working remotely is becoming more commonplace, especially since the pandemic started. Companies are keeping their employees by sending them home to telecommute. However, people who once depended on comradery and a cubicle in an office are now trying to work around screaming kids and a longing for adult conversation. People new to this form of workforce are lost and confused.
There are a group of folks who have already faced these challenges head on. That group is the work at home entrepreneur. The work from home workforce can learn a lot from those who have successfully done so before them.
The first step to successfully working from home is to have a dedicated home office space. Make sure it will be quiet or, at the very least, private. Office space is essential for a successful work environment. While working from the kitchen table may work for some, they most likely do not have distractions in the home with them. More on that later.
Another reason why it is important to have a private space is because the work from home workforce now has to practice telecommuting through various video chat services. Zoom and Skype are common among those who have to meet online.
Honestly, just get used to it. Face-to-face interaction has temporarily taken a back seat. Be prepared to video chat with the boss or coworkers. Meetings just went digital!
Miss those weekly lunch dates with close friends? Get into a video chat and munch on some lunch while at home. Just because the workforce was grounded does not mean interaction is out. It may also help alleviate the loss of water cooler time in the office.
The video conferencing software is installed, now what? Time to make the space comfortable.
Do not underestimate the power of comfort. Remember that cubicle? Family photos, a plant, a comfortable chair, or even just simple organization can make the home space more effective for work.Being home means casual professional, too. The need for nice clothes just went out the window, unless on a conference call. Please wear clothes during a conference call. I do not take responsibility for the repercussions of taking my advice too literally.
However, comfort is key and encouraged. Personal items are okay in your own private space. Office rules are no longer as important as they once were. What the office spy cannot see will not cause harm.
We’ve covered video conferencing and comfort, let’s not forget the do not disturb sign. Work is separate from everyday life. Let the family know what is off limits and when. Keep them at bay while working. It is important for focus. Much like office life, scheduling time for breaks is key. However, work hours should remain that.
That is probably the hardest for those new to telecommuting. When at home, it is easy to forget it is not free time. Your time is not free at all. It is flexible, but still existent.
The transition is probably the hardest of all. Office life is not the same as home office life. They both have their benefits and downfalls. Once the switch is made, it can be difficult to adjust. Give it time. Once the adjustment is made, the benefits of a home office is worth all the, well, work!