Tips for Working Remotely

Working remotely is like having the best of both worlds, right? You get to work from home in your pajamas, have no commute, and possibly no daycare but there can be challenges as well. I’m going to lay out the pros, cons and solutions to working out of your home office.
Define Your Space

If you don’t have the luxury of a separate home office, you may need to create one. It may be a desk tucked into a corner, a breakfast bar or even your kitchen table – wherever it is make sure the people that live with you know that it’s hands off! Stay organized with hanging files, binders and labeled containers. Purchase a comfortable ergonomic chair – this is especially important if you are working at a computer all day.

Even Though You’re Home You’re Still Working

People sometimes believe that because you work from home you can chat on the phone for an hour or go out for an afternoon of shopping. Politely remind your friends and family that just as they have set work hours, so do you.
Which brings me to another point…

Stick to a Work Schedule

It is very easy to fall into the trap of working all the time when you work from home. Your work is very accessible, you see every email and everything seems urgent. It is not healthy to work all the time and it is unfair to your partner and/or children who would like to spend time with you. Set your work hours and stick to it. The flip side to that is that it is also too easy to give in to temptation and neglect your “bread and butter”. You don’t want to end up “unemployed from home” so make sure you don’t lose sight of what “work from home” truly means.

Home with the Kids

Working from home does offer the ability to forgo daycare, however; sometimes some form of outside help is warranted. Working from home with teenagers is far different than working around an infant, toddler – or both! Small children don’t always appreciate how hard you are trying to get your work done – after all – the world revolves around them, right? Besides the noise and distraction, is the safety factor – it can be easy to be so engrossed in your work that your child seeks out some entertainment of his own. If you prefer to keep them home and are unable to obtain help, here are a few tips:
• Keep them busy – keep your young child nearby with something he/she loves, but only gets to play with when you are working. Modeling dough, like Playdough, is a great and inexpensive solution to keep your child busy.
• Work while the baby naps – infants sleep often and when awake as long as you are within view and talk to them they usually are content. Of course – I know – as a mother of six children, there are always exceptions!
• Put your child in a child-safe area for video conferences/phone calls – not everyone appreciates the sweet sound of a screaming, impatient child, so some occasions call for playtime in the playroom or bedroom while you are speaking on the phone. Of course, make sure wherever the child is, you can hear him/her and it is safe.

Working from home you miss the commute, the business attire and a lot of the expenses that go with working a regular 9-5, but there always challenges where there are rewards. By implementing these tips and planning ahead for difficulties, you will not only improve your productivity, but your mood as well. Enjoy your remote position!

By Arika Childress
Arika is a mother of six children and works from home for Compliant Coding Systems. She enjoys roller skating, bike riding, and a good night’s sleep.