Working from home is a hot topic for HR professionals. From employees who plead for the ability to have more flexibility in their schedule to managers who cast a doubtful look on those 'missing' from the office, this is one topic that calls for structure. For someone that has spent nearly a dozen years either working from home part- time or full-time, I've found these three tips make working from home work for me, and the organization.
Have a dedicated workspace
I've tried the kitchen table, the dining room, and even the couch, but nothing worked for me as well as when I put a desk in the corner of the bedroom and treated the space like an office.
When I have calls, need to write, or just need to be completely uninterrupted, I place a "do not disturb" sign — which somehow found itself in my suitcase and back at my house — on the bedroom door. The kids know that unless they are bleeding, I cannot be interrupted for any reason when the sign is up.
Work the same hours as when you are in the office
I wake up at the same time, get my morning coffee, and go through the same routine I do weather I'm going to the office or not. This puts me in the mindset that this is a workday.
Many of us have gotten into the habit of continuing to work at all hours of the day and night because of the convenience of being at home. Setting the same hours at home as the office helps me to have a better work/life balance, and makes it easy for colleagues and customers to reach me.
Communicate well and often
According to a 2016 study by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, full time work-at-home among non-self-employed population, has grown 103% since 2005. The data certainly shows that this trend is not going away. However, it is still common for coworkers or clients to think that if you are not in the office, you are not working.
One thing that I have done that has helped to close down this way of thinking is through communication. I maintain clear and consistent contact with my colleagues and clients, and try to always make sure my manager knows what I am working on, and when it is to be completed. On time delivery of projects is the best form of communication!