A Guide to Working From Home
The work-from-home just got a big push from the current COVID 19 pandemic. Thanks to ever-evolving technologies like Skype, Microsoft teams, Zoom it’s no longer necessary to be in an office full-time to be a productive. Companies with work-from-anywhere policies can boost employee productivity, reduce turnover, and lower organizational costs, according to recent research at Harvard Business School.
How to Work Effectively From Home
Whether you’re working remotely one day per week (or more) or full-time—by choice or because of a health situation or weather event—it’s important to ensure that you are set up to be productive. This includes having a designated workspace with the right technology; ways of dealing with kids, pets, and other potential disruptions.
Know the rules
- Does your employer require a nine-to-five schedule, or is there flexibility?
- Are you allowed to work on public Wi-Fi?
- Which tech tools might you need, such as Zoom for video conferencing, Microsoft Teams for group chats etc.?
- If you work for someone else, it’s important that your employer spells out the ground rules and ensures you have the appropriate equipment, such as a laptop, as well as network access, and instructions for remote login.
- Be sure to do trial runs and work out any problems that might impede your work.
Set up a workspace
It’s critical to have a private, quiet space for your work. If you can, separate your work area from your personal spaces and use it just for work, not for other activities.
Moving as close as you can to your Wi-Fi router can help (devices that are distant tend to draw on bandwidth), or you can consider switching to Ethernet. You’ll likely need a dongle since laptops don’t have Ethernet ports these days, plus an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to your router.
If you have a barking dog or a jack-hammering worker outside your windows, consider investing in noise-cancelling headphones, such as Apple’s Air Pod Pros.
Top Types of Work-From-Home Jobs
Not all work-at-home jobs are for corporate employees. Many people work for firms as freelancers, choosing to form their own businesses. Working from home also offers the opportunity for those who have the time and organizational skills to manage two or three jobs at once. Some popular roles for work from home based jobs are;
- Virtual Assistants
- Call center representatives
- Data Entry and Transcriptions
- Tutors / trainers
Tips for the Work-at-Home Life
Stick to your work schedule
Every person who has spent time working from a home base will have to deal with a lack of understanding from people who think working from home doesn’t really mean working. The burden lies upon you to set your working hours, stick to them, actually work during those hours, and refuse to let anyone else dissuade you from the idea that you’re truly employed.
Beware of workaholic tendencies
Efficiency and flexibility are two of the top 10 reasons that people want to work from home, along with shorter hours (what might you accomplish with eight straight hours of keyboard-pounding, uninterrupted by emails or daily staff meetings). When your office is always there, waiting, with that deadline looming over your head, it’s pretty hard to just close the door and pretend you’ve left for the day. Many home-based workers find themselves working more hours, not fewer, logging in work time on nights and weekends, just because it’s there and they can’t ignore it.
Working from home can be exciting, empowering and even profitable, provided you are realistic about the pros and cons. But there are added responsibilities that come with freedom, not to mention planning, foresight, self-discipline, focused and hours of uninterrupted hard work.