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19 Apr

Working From Home 101

When I mention that I have the freedom to work from home to someone, they always seem to think I’m super lucky, they believe that working from home is waking up when you want, brewing some coffee, turning on your laptop, and lying in bed, clicking and writing for a few hours until you need a stretch. But is this the reality of working from home? No #facts

As usual, the grass is always greener on the other side, and working from home is not as easy as it sounds. I still have to meet deadlines and expectations, and I think my level of responsibility has even increased since I have started working from home. I know that I must be logged in, involved, and communicating with my team to have a productive workday.

“Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.” — 
Alexander Kjerulf

A lot of companies are embracing the idea of allowing their employees to work from home, as many studies have proven that companies that allow remote employees have greater employee productivity, fewer missed work days due to illness or commuting problems and a much bigger pool of potential workers to choose from. In 2017, US Census data showed that about 8 million Americans worked from home #progress. I believe this is due to the fact that we are in the search for a better work-life balance and working from home ( when done right) can help us with this.

It took me a while to get used to the looks and comments from people when I say I work from home most of my days, but I’ve discovered that only those who have this “privilege” know that it takes a lot of organization and focus to be successful and not drop the ball.

I put together the top 5 things that have helped me be successful while working from home, and hope these will help you too 🙂

  • Designate a place for work and create physical boundaries – Personally, I cannot work anywhere too comfortable or I will fall asleep #oldpeopleissues. I created a space in my house where I could work without distractions and where I’m far away from my bed. I make sure I close my bedroom door as soon as I start working, this allows me to have a physical boundary between distractions (my bed, TV, etc;) and my workspace.
  • Get the right equipment and right internet – The first thing I did when I started working from home was to get a comfortable chair, along with dual monitors. I also made sure I had the right lighting and made some changes to my internet.
  • Get ready as if you were leaving your house– I started doing this a few months after working from home, somehow waking up, taking a shower, getting my makeup done and getting dressed makes me feel ready for my day.
  • Create a daily to-do list- Besides my “everything” to do list, I create a daily to-do list and make sure I stick to completing the tasks in it as much as I can. By doing this, I hold me accountable for my own progress and keep myself motivated.
  • Stick to your schedule- When I started working from home, there were a lot of days that I would start at 7 am and didn’t stop until 9-10 pm, sometimes I only remembered to have breakfast -_- Being on an office environment, makes it easier to realize it’s lunchtime or time to go home, but since I was home- I would get so focused on finishing a task that I will isolate until done. After some months of doing this, I realized I wasn’t being efficient and I was taking away the whole point of working from home which was – having work-life balance. So, I make sure I take water breaks, I try to have lunch ( yes, I still forget to eat! =/) and I stop working according to my required office hours (unless there’s an important project to finish).
  • Communicate!– since you are remotely you won’t have face to face interaction with your boss. In my case, my manager sits out of Orlando, so I have to make sure I communicate clearly and often, and I ask as many questions as possible when a project is assigned to avoid misunderstandings. To be successful while working remotely, more effort needs to be placed on communication on a whole new level!

As everything, working from home has its pro’s and cons. For me, it has been a great way to increase my productivity and focus on my role. I still try to go to the office at least twice a week to create a balance. Something important that I have realized during this time is that it is crucial that you keep networking and keep the connections you have made along the years alive, as it is so easy to stay at home and become a loner ( this is me talking from experience lol)

Do you work from home? tell us some things that have work for you that we should try!


Kats Salazar
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