In the past few years, our team at Mettler Search has witnessed a gradual increase in our clients either working completely from home or splitting their week between home and the office. I’ve recently started to do the same so have been reading tips on how to be successful in this new environment. There has been much debate about whether employees are more or less productive at home and I would venture to say more, assuming some basic criteria are met.
– A specific office is set up. Even in a compact NYC apartment, find a consistent space for your computer and other required desk items.
– You have childcare. If it’s inside the home, definitely have a door separating your office and specific rules about when you can be interrupted. One person I know puts a sign on the door that relates she is in a meeting and can’t be disturbed. At all other times, the kids are able to come in for short visits. Might seem overly structured, but chaos can prevail without these type of rules in place. Some companies that allow working from home require proof of childcare.
– Accommodate your 4 legged children. If you have dogs, ensure they have a comfortable spot to relax in your new office. Having them around is one of the best aspects of working from home. Learn where the mute button is on your phone in case you are on a call and your dog decides he needs to urgently alert you to the bird in the tree outside your window.
– Use the extra time gained through eliminating the commute to accomplish set tasks, either personal or a jump on that extra work project you are now able to tackle.
– Breaks. Take them. I’ve worked straight through in a day and remembered to get lunch at 4pm. Employees are most productive when they are able to refresh their brains. Set a timer if necessary to ensure you take several moments in the day for yourself.
– Water. Drink it. You won’t have the water cooler to stand around anymore but ensure that you remain hydrated when working. This is on my 2017 resolutions list so I thought I’d tack it on here as well.