Working from home

Working From Home. Living the Dream, Or is it?

While most of us only fantasize about working from home I recently was able to make this dream come true. With the greater Seattle area housing so expensive there was just no way I could afford to live close to work. My commute consisted of either driving around the peninsula or taking the ferry. Both consumed 3 to 4 hours of my day regardless. And then there was the expense.

 

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So when an opportunity to work from home became a real option I jumped on it. No more commute. No more expenses. Much more time. I am living the dream.

But, I have found working from home has its challenges as well. Social interaction for one. My office was always a central place for quick meetings, planning, conference calls and folks stopping by to chat all day. Not anymore. A good thing, right? Well, I do miss some of this interaction. I find the silence a little disconcerting.

What I quickly realized is that you really have to have a certain skill set to make this work. Here is what I have learned.

Stay Focused – Working From Home

Amazingly one of the best ways for me to stay focused is to get up, take a shower and get dressed for the day. Just like I was going to the office. My work at home opportunity is totally virtual and it is really tempting to just work in my pj’s. I find that I am much more efficient when I don’t however. A mindset.

I’m a news junkie. I admit it. It is easy for me to spend hours on getting the latest news on various subjects. Sports, politics and technology to name a few. I refrain from these time killers until certain goals for the day have been met.

And then there’s the daily distractions. Errands, repairs and such. Everyone thought I was “available” and could now do more during the day until I explained otherwise. I actually work during the day people.

Organized – Working From Home

No one is looking at my home office desk. It can be as messy as I want. Right? Unfortunately that really doesn’t work if I want to actually get things done for the day. Also, I do a lot of video conference calls and things have to be organized and tidy.

Because no one is dropping by to remind me of meetings, etc. I make sure I have everything in my calendar. Events, tasks, notes. Find out what works for you and stick with it religiously.

Alone – Working From Home

I have been in sales and marketing for some time now. I’m a social person. Working from home makes that pretty tough. And if you’re single… I mean, you can only interact with your favorite pet so much.

One of the ways I overcame my non social world I found myself in is I joined a business incubator group. It’s a program that sponsors and supports new fledgling businesses. The group meets a couple of times a month. It keeps my entrepreneurial juices flowing and keeps me socially sharper when dealing with my customers. Nothing worse than talking to a customer and haven’t had any discourse for weeks before.

Communication – Working From Home

I don’t know if you have experienced this but emails can come off negative. Even though you didn’t mean them to be. Make sure you mean what you type and keep the verbage very positive.

Also, conference calls can be a little tough. Especially if you can’t see their faces. Nothing worse than cracking a joke and no one laughs. Practice the art of a good conference call. Have an agenda so you don’t ramble. Make sure your conference tool works and sounds well and does not give away that you are working from home. No dogs or children making noise in the background.

Motivation – Working From Home

I’m, by nature, a workaholic. I have this expediency (drive) that keeps me working and focused regardless of where I’m at. Not everyone is built this way however. Since no one is directly monitoring you it is easy to do things you would not do if you commuted to work. Not conducive to staying motivated and getting your work done.

Learning a work-life balance is imperative to your work and home office success. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be some leeway of time during the work day… Just don’t let it get out of hand.

I have found that talking with others I know working from home has helped me stay motivated as well.

Working from home has been and is a great experience for me. I had to make some changes but I recommend it highly. Make sure you don’t go into it blindly however. Gain the skills needed and working from home will work for you as well.

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Chris Lott has this crazy creative side that motivates him to design websites and write articles. He's a disruptive technologist and is passionate about sales, family, and anything related to technology. See what others are saying about his work!.

 

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