Do you have what it takes to successfully work from home?

Posted on Posted in 2016 Business Opportunities For You, What's Trending Now

 

Most of us, at some point, have fantasized about quitting that 9-to-5 office job to work from the comfort of a couch.

Working from home could be way more challenging than you’d imagine. So, do you really have what it takes to work from home?

It takes certain skills to work from home. And if you’re considering working from home, here are some of the keys to success.

 

1. Laser focus
Who can resist the dinging sound of a new email? You, that’s who, especially if you want to stay on task. And forget about signing in to Facebook “just for a minute.” It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working from home — unlikely distractions that just don’t exist at work abound at home. At the office, for example, you might visit the company kitchen once in the morning and once in the afternoon for a cup of coffee, but at home, you’re hitting the fridge every hour on the hour. Or more.

The way around this is to act like your home office is in the center of an actual office. That means, yes, taking a shower, getting dressed, and being presentable for your workday. Somehow, it switches your mindset, and being preparing to “go” to work (even if it’s just a stroll down the hallway) makes the transition easier. Schedule specific times to check email, and when you get a Facebook or Twitter alert, refrain from logging in until lunch hour.

 

2. Mad organizational skills
At work, you had to keep your desk neat so that you looked organized — and sure, it’s always helpful to see the top of your desk. But at home, who cares if clutter collects around you?

Well, don’t fall into that trap (especially if video conference calls are part of your routine). While you might miss the building services team, who used to wipe down your crusty keyboard and empty your waste paper baskets every night, it’s ultimately up to you to keep your space spic and span so you can do your best work.

What’s more, it’s time to get those list-making muscles in working order. Without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks, so you’ll need to find ways to be as organized as possible. You might find that you like to write things down in a notebook, or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications. Find what works best for you to keep you organized and on task.

 

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3. The ability to work alone
Sure, the one big bonus of working from home is that it gets you away from the petty office politics and never-ending gossip. But once you’re in your home office —alone, every day — you might start to miss that collegial camaraderie.

Reach out more to your former or present colleagues via IM or call them on the phone. It’ll help tremendously to make the disconnect not feel so severe. It’s a good balance between having peace and quiet when you need it and much-needed interaction with others, too.

 

4. Excellent communication skills
When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you work from home, he/she is just a green light on your Google Chat. From letting your boss know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with him/her.

Since almost everything is done via email (and there are no facial or body clues to read), you’ll need to make sure that you mean what you, um, type. Shorter, more succinct sentences go a lot farther than long-winded ones.

 

5. Self-motivation
Without the fear that your boss could walk in on you playing Candy Crush, your motivation can get foggy when you work from home. So while you might be tempted to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine or start working later than you’re scheduled to, you’ll need to keep yourself motivated.

How? Start by giving yourself daily, weekly, or even hourly goals. Once you start accomplishing them, you’ll feel productive and happy in your career — and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your own work-life balance.

Working from home can be the Holy Grail, but you have to know what you’re getting into. But if you do, and you make a plan to gain these skills, you can make working from home work for you, too.

 

 

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