“Working From Home” is a hot topic these days, and being good at it is far easier said than done. I would know, because for the majority of my 10 years in the real estate industry I’ve worked from home.
Fortunately, I’ve picked up some great tips from friends and have adjusted my habits to find what works best for me.
At a high level, it’s all about mindset — like starting a new job and learning to integrate into your new environment. Anyone can work from home, but if you don’t follow best practices, you can easily fall prey to distraction.
If you do it right, however, you might just find you increase your productivity with great success.
Below are some of the best practices and tips I’ve implemented. Please feel free to share with your peers.
1. Set Your Mindset
Take control of your environment. Focus on your goals as a habit, and learn to keep yourself in check. I try to leave my house early every morning and prepare my mind for the workday ahead in either my house or my mobile office. While it’s easy to get distracted by the dishes or laundry, remember: You don’t do house chores while at the office; don’t do them when working from home.
2. Location, Location, Location
Choose what’s comfortable! You don’t have to stay in just one place all day.
Find a comfortable space that meets all the requirements to help you accomplish your next task. If it’s a private call, find a private space. If you’ll be in a video call, choose a place that’s less noisy and has decent lighting.
Also, be consistent with your work locations. I find I start working faster in a familiar place with less distraction.
3. Get Out
You may want to change up your location to reset and recharge. Several times a week, I work out of a coffee shop or the public library to surround myself with humans. You know it’s a problem when you begin to speak to the grocery store cashier about your day and ponder life!
4. Set Hours of Operation
While it can be difficult to close your laptop, especially when working across time zones, try to resist and establish a start and end time. Make sure your calendar is currently up to date so that team members can add you to meetings based on your availability. I try to keep time blocks open to do specific tasks, like expense reports.
5. Practice Self-Care
Also, take time for self-care, like eating lunch and exercising. Hydrate!
6. Video-Conference with Good Audio
If you’re going to be on a video conference, consider the following:
Situate yourself in a comfortable place where people can see your face clearly.
Use headphones or a headset so that you can block other unexpected noises — and own them when the dog barks or a relative interrupts. Also, be aware of typing into a mic or playing background music too loudly. Always, MUTE, when you’re in a public place, traveling or in a loud area, and unmute only when you’re going to speak.
7. House/Personal Duties
Don’t do them during work hours! They are the devil. It’s so tempting. Trust me, I failed miserably at time management my first few months of working from home. Dishes, vacuuming and doing the laundry only distract, and distractions make you do other things, like working late to make up for those darn distractions!
8. Set Boundaries
Others in your household may not fully understand that you’re working. They see your body in the house and start talking to you about everything and ask you to do things. Say “No!” When I visit my family for the holidays, my mother still tries to ask me lots of questions so I lock myself in a room and put a sign on the door that says, “Recording Live.” This helps keep the noise down, except of course, for my mother’s vacuum.
If using the digital chat service Slack, sign in and sign out. Use Snooze and Status updates to help let others know when you’re not available. Don’t forget to turn it on. It still happens to me on occasion.
10. Get Dressed
This is not college or a lazy Saturday morning. Get yourself dressed as if you’re going into the office, which brings me back to “mindset.” If you look and feel great, then you’ll emote greatness. It’s easy to not want to shower and just roll out of bed. Been there, done that. But, trust me, it works much better for you in the long run if you approach your day like any other day going into the office — just without the commute.
originally published by Dotloop.com.