There are lucky few that have flexible work arrangements with their company on working from home and then they are the freelancers as well. One of the cost cutting measures is to allow employees to work from home.
Companies can save thousands of money just by having limited office space and hot seating arrangements where you share your office desk with another colleague of yours with the same work nature.
That being said, there is a lot of room for mistakes when you work from home. To save yourself from embarrassment, I’ll strongly suggest that you read the following.
Put On Something Decent
As tempting it is, it’s a luxury to work in your pyjamas. I used to start off wearing just that as a freelancer. However, my friend pointed the risk of not dressing up. She was makeup free, her bedraggled hair is oily and sticky, donning a dirty tee and working from home. Her colleague suddenly wanted a video call on Skype as she has a few project questions to clear up with her. This colleague of hers is also her good friend and have seen her in a much worse state than her morning out-of-bed look. Not thinking much, she accepts the call, only to realize instead of talking to her friend on a laptop screen, she is on a video call with a boardroom full of management staff on a wide projected screen. Imagine her horror and embarrassment!
Besides, it makes me more productive and fresh when I make it a point to start my work day presentable.
Fixed Your Working Time
I know it is hard to draw the line between working and resting. Especially when your desk is just next to your bed. Heck, you might even be working on your bed. Or you might be working on your dining table in the kitchen with snacks within reach without even lifting your butt off the chair. But fixing your working hours ensure that you get ample rest and spend quality time for yourself and your loved ones. It also allows your colleagues to know when not to disturb you during your off period. Of course, in the freelancer world, we are not that lucky to have fixed hours but still do try to have a period each day that you are uncontactable. For me, my weekends are untouchable. All my clients respected that.
Lock Your Door
The video that went viral. I’m sure you don’t want this to happen to you especially when you are in a serious working mode, negotiating a contract with your client or worse, on live tv just like this guy was. Thinking you are safe because you have no kids? Well, my friend’s boyfriend walked into the bedroom naked, unaware that she was having a late night video conference with the US office. In case you’re wondering, yes it is the same friend as above.
Plan Your Schedule
Whether you are working in the office or from home, it is always a good habit to plan your schedule in advance. This allows an overview of how you manage your time and whether this arrangement is productive.
Announce Your Away Time
Out of sight, out of mind. If you are going away for a holiday, you will need to announce that in advance and keep reminding your boss and your colleagues. It is imperative to set an away from desk message whenever you are leaving your desk for more than 15 mins.
Have Backup Device / Internet Connection
This is without fail the biggest irks bosses have over work-from-home employees, same goes to clients and freelancers. It can throw a wrench into timelines and deadlines just because internet connection is poor or laptop breaks down all the time. Some say it is the necessary evil but to me, it can be prevented just by having a backup connection and a backup laptop. Backup connections can mean that you have a list of nearby places to depend on when your internet connection is down like coffee houses, friend’s place even the library.
Give Yourself Little Breaks
Sometimes working from home means you have to work doubly as hard as when you are working in your office cubicle, to prove yourself (and your boss!) that you are just as productive as you are working in the office. Just remember to give yourself little breaks every now and then. I don’t mean walking from the fridge to grab a beer and back to your chair but to take a short 10 mins walk out of the house. Fresh air will do everyone some good and clear your head too.
Schedule Some Face To Face Time
Even if your boss doesn’t ask for it, request to have a Skype video call at least once a week if you have been away from the office for a length of time. Even it is just a 10 mins call to touch base and to catch up what is going on in the company. Make sure you stay on top of the happenings in your company even though you are not physically there.
Do you have any horror stories to share when you are working from home? Tell us all about it in the comments below. We’ll try not to laugh. 🙂
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.