If you asked anyone about the sustainability of working from home ten years ago, they would have probably laughed in your face. Although this prospect has been the topic of heated discussions for decades now, most business owners and employees used to see it as more of a hassle than a commodity.
But things have changed tremendously over the course of the past few years. We now possess the necessary tools to pursue our professional goals just as effectively in the comfort of our homes as we would in a corporate office building. Nevertheless, the shift isn’t a simple one at first for most people.
More and more employees nowadays are offered the chance to pursue their jobs at home. Although this is a dream situation for many, it does not come without its challenges. Fortunately, a little discipline can go a long way in maintain productivity levels high. Here are the five easy steps of transitioning to remote work.
1. Organize Your Tasks
Time management is the hardest concept to wrap your head around once you transition to remote work. For this reason, it’s important to work at set intervals. The most appropriate one will always be 9 to 5, especially if you still have coworkers in the corporate office that you need to collaborate with. Nevertheless, you have a bit of leeway to adapt in this case.
What is more, it is also crucial to organize your tasks in whatever way you find most suitable for your needs. A simple and straightforward to-do list works best for most people, but you can also put together a strict timetable or schedule so that you have no excuses to waste time. Stay focused on being productive and you will achieve amazing results in no time at all.
2. Allot Fixed Break Times
Deciding when and how you take breaks is another major part of effective time management during work hours. If you’ve just transitioned from an office job to taking care of business the comfort of your home, you might suddenly find yourself tempted to take way more breaks than you used to back at headquarters.
However, you need to keep in mind that this is still a job, and thus you should uphold the same standards. Put everything on pause during fixed 10 or 15-minute intervals, and don’t pursue household activities when you’re on a break. Use this time to grab a quick bite or make yourself a cup of coffee, just like you would back at the office.
3. Designate a Work Space
According to Forbes Magazine, choosing a specific location in your house as a personal office is essential to staying driven and motivated. Designate an area for working only, and store all your related gadgets, supplies and files there. The space should ideally not contain a bed or a television set so that you don’t feel tempted to slack.
Furthermore, having your own space impedes contact with various other distractions that might come up, such as pets or family members. In addition, it also helps establish a sense of beneficial routine that sustains consistency and promotes productivity. Just think of this room as your very own corporate headquarter.
4. Communicate Efficiently
Once you pursue your job at home, you might find it harder to reach out to your superiors or collaborators for assistance or brainstorming sessions. Fortunately, businesses have access to plenty of communication tools nowadays. Google Hangouts, Skype, Trello or Slack all make getting in touch with coworkers easier than ever.
Furthermore, cloud storage services such as DropBox or OneDrive make sharing files and data a rather accessible experience. All of these programs are an important part of what makes remote work possible in the first place. Thus, you need to take advantage of everything that they have to offer and connect as efficiently as possible.
5. Learn Tech Troubleshooting
When your primary work environment relies on a laptop and an Internet connection, things can go terribly wrong sometimes. There is a number of issues that arise during your regular work day, and you no longer have an on-site IT technician to help you sort through them. Therefore, you will have to be a bit more computer savvy yourself.
The basic notions to learn are installing and updating the different pieces of software you use, as well as your operating system and all the other bits and bobs that make your laptop functional. Furthermore, you need to have a backup plan in case your wi-fi connection breaks or your power gets cut out temporarily due to larger technical issues.
And when all else fails, having a remote assistance program such as TeamViewer installed can save the day. With it, your company’s technician can connect to your device and solve the problem. Still, this can become quite the hassle, which is why it’s best to use it only as a last resort in the few cases that you are unable to handle yourself.
Furthering your career from home is completely possible as long as you ease yourself into it and accept the steps that come along with this transition. With thorough organization, efficient communication and a bit of tech savviness, you can achieve amazing things anywhere you are. Just remember not to give into the temptation of slacking when distractions appear.