As the world of work evolves to meet people’s changing needs – made easier by the rise of high-speed internet and “free” Wi-Fi connectivity – working out of the office is fast becoming the new normal.
This newfound “freedom” may be tough for some employees to adjust to, particularly where their role requires them to be out of the office more frequently that the norm.
If you work remotely or are out of the office quite often, consider the habits below to get the most out of the days you’re out of the office.
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. If you’re at home, the temptation to procrastinate may prove difficult to resist, however you want to remain productive and achieve the goals you have set for yourself for the day. As a mother to a 2 year old toddler, I avoid working from home. I find a quiet, safe spot at a coffee shop close by and catch up on my work.
If you decide to work at home, self-discipline is paramount. Treat your home office like you’d treat your company office. Be your own manager and develop a workday routine.
The ability to communicate quickly and reliably is the most valuable attribute a remote employee needs to succeed, says New York Times writer and seasoned mobile worker Kenneth Rosen. Update your manager and colleagues frequently – but first find out which digital communications platforms work for everyone.
Create a workspace
You need to separate places of work and leisure, even if you are in your own home. Feel free to wear your most comfortable tracksuit or even slippers, but do get dressed for the day. Create an official workspace – if you don’t have a study, a comfortable chair and table will do. Or make your favourite coffee hotspot your workstation for the day. Once you’re in your workspace, it’s time to get down to business.
Set boundaries at home
Just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean you’re available for home-based tasks. Things like domestic chores, shopping, looking after the kids and so on all need to be delegated the same way as when you go into the office. Some days may be freer than others, which is a great perk – but just remember that during work hours your priority is still work.
You might find a more fulfilling work-life balance, fewer disruptions and more productivity – but it’s all about discipline and setting boundaries.