"We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they at their desks or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will." — Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group
Working from home is no longer a luxury, rather it has become an essential part of our life and we need to know how to be successful at it. This second episode on this topic goes a little more in-depth on this important subject. The following tips are invaluable.
1. Communicate actively - Go beyond email. Use your voice AND camera where possible.
2. Be friendly - You can even go for lunch with a colleague. Schedule a lunch together and use your camera. Eat and chat on camera. It works. The idea is to minimize feelings of isolation You really cannot avoid it so you need to manage this well.
3. Good diet - Be aware that you might not be as active as a typical person who commutes to work so watch your carbs. Take more protein and food containing appropriate vitamins and minerals. Take lots of fluid.
4. Stretch. Take very frequent walks around your house. Stand up, Stretch, dance, move! Staying in one place pretty much all day has its risks so move a lot. Use ergonomic everything - mouse, chair, table...if you can afford it.
5. Spouses and roommates - Support your spouse or roommate by being respectful of their time. Respect their schedule and realize that being home does not imply time for personal chats and the likes. This is not to say no communication but be supportive - minimize noise, be less demanding during work hours so as not distract each other, etc. If both are working from home, some have reported better productivity by working from separate locations in the home. Do what works for you.
6. Brightly lit space works wonders. It energizes your brain and helps condition your mind for work. The other nice thing is to take your calls or meetings out in the sun if you can. As long as there is minimal or no noise you are good. It helps to keep you healthy.
7. Use an appropriate noise cancelation headphone or better still, like I do - software. It works wonders.
8. Its okay to blend your work with your daily life. You wanna get those clothes washed during work hours? Go ahead. Get up and get the machine working. You need to have a quick run during work hours? Go for it. As long as you are not being unavailable to your colleagues or slacking on your deliverables, it's all good. You will find yourself being happier and more productive. Don't sweat it.
9. Feel free to rest more especially during your typical commute hours. Its fine. Typically working from home takes more time and you deliver more so rest more. You deserve it.
10. Disengage from your work environment for some time on a daily basis. You need it. I like mine in the evenings and I either go for a 1hr walk and return to sleep for a few hours before reconnecting or I just sleep for about 4hrs after the typical work day is over.