How to Work from Home, Effectively
More and more people are working remotely these days because of a wonderful invention named Internet. This magical invention makes it super easy for us to communicate instantly via a number of mediums (e-mail, chat and Skype to name but a few), and thus allow our workload to become portable. Whilst there are numerous advantages to working from your own living room, or your local coffee shop, there are a few minefields, too. It is all too easy to lounge in bed until midday, casually tapping on your laptop whilst online shopping at the same time, or get up every fifteen minutes or so to fix yourself a snack, or (and in my opinion the worst) discover that it’s 5pm and not only have you not left your house all day, you’re also still wearing your pyjamas. And you spent two hours trawling through Perez Hilton for gossip. Not cute.
It’s pretty obvious that the main challenge to those working from home is to work as effectively as you would in the office, with a boss breathing down your neck and scanning your open tabs for Facebook. The question is: how?
The following are a few tricks of the trade to ensure effectiveness and motivation:
Working from home is a blessing to busy people, especially mothers, as it allows you to integrate your daily life with your job. While this isn’t bad, per se, it is dangerous. It’s all too easy to be swept up in errands and laundry, and not settle down to working. This is why scheduling is so vital, and you should do it everyday. Write a list of tasks at night, and spend ten minutes portioning them a slot throughout the following day, leaving time for your workload. Stick it to your fridge and follow it religiously.
2. Get Up
No, no, NO working in bed, or in pyjamas past 9am. Ok, 9.30. If you’re lazing the day away, you will produce lazy results and that is going to piss of your boss or result in frantic late night panic for you. Seize the day and jump out of bed, on time.
3. Get Dressed
There’s a reason that lawyers wear suits to work, that doctors wear scrubs, and that start-ups wear ripped jeans and converse: it sets the tone of the workplace. Luckily for you, wearing a suit to work from home is a ridiculous notion, so you’re spared formality. That does not mean, however, that it is acceptable to wear sweats, pyjamas, leggings or any of the above. You’re just not going to be at your most effective in comfy lounge clothes, let’s not delude ourselves. Jeans, blazers and ballet flats are a great place to start.
4. Get Caffeinated
One of the eccentricities of office life is the amount of hot, caffeinated drinks consumed within the working day. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly used as an excuse to escape the monotony of employment, stretch those legs, and have a good old chatter with your colleagues in the kitchen. But it also keeps you buzzing. Home is so much more pleasant, that one can begin to forgo caffeine, relaaax and take it easy, a slippery slope. You need that caffeine to focus and continue to be motivated, so don’t abandon the best tool in your kit and keep your kettle boiling.
5. Get Out
You’re lucky enough to be working on your own terms, which does not involved being locked up in a stuffy office with various germs flying around courtesy of your colleagues’ kids. Man is not meant to sit down or day, nor stay inside, so avoid those terrible back and neck pains typical of an office job and take yourself out for a stroll and some fresh air. Being active boosts your brain, quietens your mind and tones up your body, all of which are highly desirable effects.
6. Reward Yourself
Being realistic, you are going to want to catch up on television or play a cheeky round of candy crush if you’re working on your lonesome. This isn’t technically a problem, if you keep yourself in check. Try allowing yourself such pastimes as rewards for an hour of solid, hard work.
7. The Importance of Home
At the beginning of working from home, it’s likely you will struggle with a few, if not all, of the challenges listed above. This may make you want to work in a nearby cafe instead, which is all well and good apart from the fact that it will cost you a ton of cash. If you’re working in an establishment for more than a couple of hours, you will not stick to just a cup of coffee; slowly but surely a muffin will sneak in, then lunch, then more coffee until you’re spending half your day’s salary on refreshments. It is important to feel comfortable and effective in a home environment, and you must be strict with yourself until you achieve this. You will save a ton of money. So follow the tips, play some motivational tunes (8tracks.com is your best bet), and get to work.