AMiable Solution #365: Make the Most of Telecommuting
If you suddenly find yourself working from home instead of your office, then you’re probably feeling one of two things: elated or terrified.
If you’re elated, you probably prefer working alone. Without interruptions. Without distractions. With the flexibility to get your work done AND fit in that workout that just never seems to happen at the beginning or end of the work day.
But if you’re terrified—whether because of the lack of socialization or because of the freedom (i.e., how am I going to stay on task???) that telecommuting brings—we have a few suggestions to help get you through:
1. Stick to your schedule. If you’re used to starting work at 8:00, keep it up! Although it’s tempting to slip into holiday mode and stay up late, sleep in late, and mosey about your day, if you have trouble staying focused and getting your work done, treat your telecommuting days just like any other work day and observe the same working hours.
2. Stay connected with your colleagues. When you’re in the office, it’s easy to bounce an idea off of someone or run a rough draft to someone’s office to review. Just because you can’t speak with someone face-to-face doesn’t mean the communication should stop flowing. Pick up your phone. Send an email. Video chat. Start a Facebook group page just for your department. Whatever you need to do to keep in touch and on track with one another, do it.
3. Stay connected with your clients. If you’re at home, chances are that your clients are, too. Let them know that you’re still there for them in the easiest and most accessible way possible: technology. Send out emails, updating clients on the current state of things. Let them know if any processes have changed and how they should reach you. Reach out with social media. Share company updates, helpful posts, and field questions clients have about current and future projects. Help out with useful links and information on your homepage.
4. Keep a log. You may already have a system for tracking your activity at work. If so, keep using it. It will help you make sure you’re getting the work done that you need to. If you don’t already, start making lists of things you need to do each day, and mark them off as you go. If you’re really worried about getting distracted and not putting in your hours, ask a co-worker to help keep you accountable and send him/her your daily “to do” and “done” lists.
Working from home definitely has it perks and its drawbacks, but it is a wonderful and necessary route for many of us at this time. Work hard. Keep your focus. But also enjoy the time with your family.
Best wishes for a productive and healthy new office routine.