Written by Kathy Donnelly
Balancing your personal and professional life in the same space can be a challenge. These tips will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals.
- Create a dedicated workspace. Find an area where you will be productive and are able to take calls without being distracted by normal household activity. While some people work well listening to music, others need a quiet space to concentrate. Set up an area that works for you and enables you to transition into work mode. Consider if this may even need to be out of the house. Many places have WiFi available, such as libraries and coffee shops. Find a place that keeps you motivated to be productive.
- Reliable internet service is crucial. You cannot complete your work efficiently nor effectively if your internet connection is slow or down. If you know your internet can be inconsistent, make sure you have a backup plan like an ethernet connection or even a hot spot.
- Ensure you have business connectivity. Confirm that you have all the appropriate connections such as VPN, email, security IDs and passwords to be able to do your job from outside the office network. Also, know who to contact and how to contact them if you experience issues.
- Remember security. Although you are remote, expectations do not change in regard to safeguarding the organization’s resources and protecting the confidentiality of our data at all times.
- Be accessible to your coworkers. Your coworkers need to trust that you are working when not in the office. To build that trust, you will need to answer emails, phone calls and Microsoft Teams or Instant Messaging quickly and be on time to call in for meetings.
- Establish a work schedule. Agree on the hours you will work and be accessible during that time. Working remote is great for setting your own schedule, but your team needs to know that you are readily available when issues arise and how to contact you. A work schedule also puts you in work mode to be productive.
- Have a communication plan. Whether it is email, Microsoft Teams, Instant Messaging, or cell phone numbers, know how to quickly communicate with your team members. Working from home can be isolating; check in with your coworkers as you would if you were working in an office.
- Set boundaries for others in your home. Just because you are home does not mean you are available. If you have children at home, make sure you have someone to care for them as if you were going into the office. It is very difficult to focus if you must also be the primary caregiver.
- Take breaks. I can’t emphasize this enough! It is very easy to get busy and realize you didn’t eat lunch, get up from your desk, or that you continued to work past typical work hours. Schedule breaks so you don’t get stressed and remember…some things can wait until tomorrow when the end of your day comes.
- Plan your day. Determine each day what you want to accomplish. Keep a log of your work. Your impression of how many hours you work may not be the same as what you actually work. It may be more or less than you realize. Keeping a log will help you stay on track with your goals for the day.