How to make "work from home" work?
It keeps happening, over & over, at client meetings, conferences, during interviews & even at friendly neighbourhood kitty parties. I have grown immune to that look in people’s eyes as soon as they hear that I am a stay at home mom who “works from home”. I can actually see them imagining me lounging in my pajamas, having long leisurely lunch, sitting in front of my laptop, pretending to work. I don’t really care what people think of my work-life, what does bother me is this pre-conceived notion that work-from-home is actually for bored housewives who have nothing better to kill their time.
While it is true that work from home offers great amount of flexibility, it still is a professional job and it needs to be treated as one. It is not an easy feat to stay focussed with many distractions (Kids, Household chores etc) & temptations around you and requires immense amount of self-discipline and commitment to actually make the whole thing work. As a home based employee, you may miss the buzz that typifies the traditional office set-up, so it is very important that you set up your own work environment. Fix your working hours and stick to them and avoid home-bound distractions during this time. It is always best to identify a place where you can sit & work peacefully without getting disturbed. Also, it may look silly, but actually dressing-up as if you are going to office works wonders.
How does work-from-home work? Here are few pointers-
1) Create your own work culture.
2) Draw boundaries between your professional & personal life.
3) Be technologically aware & learn to use Skype, GTM and other communication tools.
4) Keep your laptop/computer in a good shape & updated
5) Communicate with your co-workers & be in touch, always.
6) Stay organised & plan your work-day, every day.
7) Take regular breaks & avoid over-working.
8) Hone your communication, especially, email writing skills.
9) Don’t handle personal tasks during work hours
10) Schedule weekly/monthly meetings with your boss & co-workers.
So, while you read this, I am packing my office in a backpack & heading to the nearest coffee shop
for a client meeting.