Working from home has many benefits (No long commute! More time at home! Pants not necessary!) but also its own set of challenges. Since the team at Thrive Internet Marketing has members on 4 different continents, we’ve got a lot of experience and tips regarding working remotely. Let’s start with some basic mistakes we’ve encountered that can kill your productivity and waste time you’d rather be spending elsewhere.
5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Working From Home
You can make the most of working from home, enjoying all of the benefits and few of the problems, when you look out for the following 5 pitfalls (along with some excellent tools to help you avoid them):
1. No Routine
One of the biggest mistakes you can make while working from home is not setting up a schedule for yourself. If your normal work day would start at 8am in the office, begin your day at 8am in your home. If you’d take a lunch break at noon, make that your lunch time at home. Schedule 15-minute breaks throughout the day. Invest in a planner. If certain tasks should be completed early, assign yourself times to tackle them and stick to that agenda. Establishing a routine will keep you focused and ensure that you’re productive all day, every day.
2. Allowing Disctractions
Distractions are inevitable in any work setting – and your home is no exception. Your kids may be in the house. Your dog may need to go for a walk. A neighbor may ring the doorbell. Despite all of this, you’ll want to limit your distractions to better focus on your work. Ladders suggests setting up a dedicated space to separate your work and home life, and choosing an area with a door that closes for privacy. Whatever you do, make sure your space is positive and inspiring!
3. Becoming Disconnected
When working remotely it’s easy to get disconnected. Don’t let this happen! Check-in frequently with your manager to keep the line of communication open. Be sure to always send clear emails and chat messages, and actively participate in video calls. When you take time off, turn on an Out-of-Office message so everyone knows you’re not available. When it comes to your coworkers, set aside time to chat as if you were together in the same office. You can even follow them on social media to make connecting easier.
4. Not Dressing for the Job
Working in your pajamas while sitting in bed may sound awesome, but it’s been found that once the newness wears off you’re more likely to fall into a rut. Brian Dear, the CEO of iCouch admits, “If I work in my pajamas or sweatpants, I feel less productive and less serious about the work.” Dressing as if you’re actually going into an office can give you a boost – and become part of your daily routine.
Tools that can help: Standup meetings (knowing you’ll see your team every morning helps you put your best foot forward), “Audio Only” settings (for the days where you just can’t be bothered to put on pants. We’ve all been there).
5. Losing Your Social Life
Don’t let working from home dominate your life. Take breaks and step outside for a change of scenery and social interaction. Sure, you’ve already devoted time to chatting with your coworkers, but talking to a neighbor or friendly stranger can actually help you be more effective when you get back to work. You can even get involved in a virtual telecommuter community.
Tools that can help: Pomodoro Timer, a winning personality (you’ll have to figure that one out yourself).
Working from home can be great!
At Thrive Internet Marketing, we understand the challenges involved in working from home. Lessen those challenges by avoiding these mistakes, and you’ll shine as a remote worker!
If you have any insight on how to work from home, or if you’ve found a tool that helps with working remotely and productively, please share in the comments below!