Working from home sounds like a dream, but the reality is that it requires a lot of skills. To work from home you must be self-disciplined and able to manage time, but there are many other characteristics that come with being a successful at-home worker.
Distinguish work time and play time: It’s easy to fall into the trap of constant connection when working remotely, but that doesn’t help your stamina. You lock yourself in a home office during work, so why not turn off your phone during personal time?
“You must make personal time off-limits for work as much as possible,” says Sabina Ptacin, co-founder of the online business community Tin Shingle. “This could mean no laptops in the bedroom or no calls during dinner. Try to be a realistic business and know when to turn off and on.”
Prepare for social isolation: Working outside of the office means no water cooler chatter.
“Because remote workers are isolated from their co-workers, supervisors and customers, they must be comfortable fulfilling their social needs outside of work or via electronic channels like instant messaging, phone and email,” says Jeff Facteau, vice president of professional services at SHL, a talent measurement company. When you find yourself longing for actual human interaction, schedule a lunch meeting.
Don’t forget, it’s still work: When you work according to your own schedule, deadlines can be tighter and resources may be harder to find. You have to treat work like work, regardless of what else is going on.
“Remember that bosses want employees who get things done. Deliver on what they want and they won’t care if you are in that cubicle or working out of a Starbucks,” suggests Jane Miller, founder of Janeknows.com and author of the upcoming book “Sleep your Way to the Top (and Other Myths About Business Success).”
“If you can get results and wear your bunny slippers, you’ll have the best of all worlds,” adds Miller.