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Working from home is the future. Welcome to the future!

03 July 2011 / 17:07:07  GRReporter
6946 reads

Ivan Petkov

More and more of the Balkan companies employ this model of work, going around established tradition. The environment of crisis urges many of us to look for ways of spending optimization, thus promoting working from home. This is not necessarily temporary engagement or compromising- it often turns out to be quite productive and effective, and sometimes even more than that. We are not talking about independently working from home, but being part of team- a seemingly impossible challenge.

After three years of working at home, I believe it is time to share my experience with you – how to work in comfort and be productive, and how to turn parts f your home into an office. The main aspects are three:

1.Workplace and conditions

Working from home has major advantages and disadvantages. Benefits are as follows:

  • Avoiding traffic and commute
  • Flexible hours
  • Fairly liberal work schedule organization
  • Avoiding the office fuss and tension
  • No dress code and corporate etiquette requirements whatsoever
  • No banned websites or programs

We are quick to accustom to good conditions. Within the first month of working at home, we tend to feel more free and productive. It doesn’t take long, however, before we ease off more than we should… So how can we keep ourselves effective and prevent slacking?

Firstly, remember that you are at work! Therefore, ensure you have created “working space” and atmosphere. Adapt a room or part of a room to locate your working space. Make sure you use a comfortable desk, chair and lighting. You should never work on the couch, bended over the small coffee table, with the curtains closed and poor light. Ensure quiet environment and explain to anyone that might be living with you that you are at work and cannot be disturbed for minor things.

Second, do not switch to “vacation” mode- getting up late, breakfast in bed, staying in your pajamas or robe all day long… wake up at the same time you used to when you were travelling for wok. Do some exercise to get into shape. Have your breakfast as scheduled and start working on time, or maybe even earlier. You will be surprised at how much more productive you are in the morning.

Third, make a working schedule and include “lunch break.” When you feel tired, get up and move around. Finish your work in time and don’t leave anything for later in the night. When it comes to working at home, overloading yourself is just as harmful as easing off too much!

Fourth, do not stay out late at nights. Many people believe that working from home allows them to go out partying until dawn. If you are working independently, this is indeed your decision. However, if you are a part of a team you would soon realize that going out now is not much different from going out during workdays when you used to work in an office. Your colleagues rely on you!

Fifth, find social activities outside your working hours. I mention these separately from going out with friends on purpose, since besides socializing (until unidentified hours), you need your fitness as well! Working from home will deprive you of your usual physical activity. So, try to combine socializing with movement. You may try signing to dancing lessons or collective sports. Keep yourselves fit, since this reflects your tone and desire to work.

Finally, to summarize everything I mentioned above, you need discipline! In a way you are your own boss and have the say for most of the things. Be a strict boss, so you can be a good employee.

2. Technical tools

Any “home office” needs several things. Desk and a comfortable chair were mentioned already. If you are dealing with papers you will need some stationary. Make sure you have a decent PC or laptop at your disposal, with a keyboard that is easy to use, and a small printer if you need printing. Don’t compromise, and pick the things that you need carefully since these are you major work tools.

Internet connection is essential as well. The speed that most providers offer today suffices for work needs. You should, however, make sure the connection is stable. You will soon realize that interrupting connection has devastating effect on your working routine and is far more disturbing while your working than while you are randomly surfing.

3. Group -work software

It is essential that you have reliable software for Internet calls, like Skype or Google Talk. Also, you may need a camera and microphone. Conference calls through Skype are easy and free. A piece of advice- if possible, make two different accounts – one for work and one personal. Unfortunately, Skype does not allow setting a status for a group of users only. If you do not wish to separate your accounts, change your status, so that friends and family would disturb you less. Anyway, if you are constantly participating in conference calls or chats with colleagues, clients and suppliers, you will soon find Skype so boring that you would restrict your contacts yourselves.

Tags: working from homedistant workhow to work from home
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