With the current events of today, it’s important to appreciate how you can effectively and efficiently work from home. I’ve had the opportunity to work from home throughout my career. At some points, it was full time, and now it’s a combination of working from my home office and my “office office”. Here are some points that may support you as you embrace this remote working culture we are faced with.
Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you can work in your pajamas.
It’s a great practice to develop and maintain a routine to keep you on track. Prepare for your day at your home office as if you are heading into the office on business casual Friday. Being too casual at home may allow you to become complacent with your work output.
Lead by example.
It’s tough to manage the temptation to work too much / or too little. It’s great to build a habit of keeping regular work hours. It can be confusing for someone new to this working from home idea when they see emails coming at all hours of day and night. If you choose to work late into the evening, program your “delay delivery” to send the email the next morning. This will allow your colleagues to also hold themselves accountable to maintain regular work hours. Also, remember that when you are on video calls people see the environment you are working in. I encourage you to set up your working from home space in a spot that is tidy and distraction-free. I remember being on a video call a number of years ago. One of the attendees was laying in her bed smoking a cigarette…..just gonna say that completely distracted from any of the information she contributed to the meeting. I don’t remember a word she said, but I do remember the color of her pillows.
Hold yourself accountable.
We need to allow ourselves to be fluid and flexible during these challenging times. At the end of the day, you are being paid to work from home. So, you should do that – even though it’s tempting to sit on the couch eating cheezies and watching TV marathons.
Company equipment is company equipment.
Just because you are logged on at home doesn’t mean that your employer can’t still track where you are spending time on your browser. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in social media or whatever sites you tend to frequent. You are still on company property and you need to hold yourself out as a representative of the organization you work for while you are on the company equipment.
This concept of working from home is new to many people. So what if a doorbell rings – or a dog barks. Overlook that when you are talking to a colleague or service provider trying to maintain their service standards. In the same breath – do the best you can to minimize the external noises that may impact you during your workday. When you are a participant of a video or conference call, please do remember to mute your mic whenever you aren’t speaking. A valued colleague of mine once sent me a quick note to let me know the whole world was listening to me chewing my celery…..well, at least I eat healthy.
Understand that people working from home are still working.
When I started my coaching practice I often heard comments like “now that you don’t really work”, or “now that you have all this extra time”. I found that to be extremely deflating. Just because my home office is just down the hall doesn’t mean that I don’t go into that office with the same level of professionalism and commitment that I’ve always prided myself on. If someone in your circle is now working from home – respect that and don’t be a distraction.
I trust that you will embrace this list and be successful with your work from home routine.