Working from Home

6 tips to Succeed

Recently, a friend asked me, “what are the secrets to your success for working from home?” My first thought was, are they really secrets? Working from home never occurred to me as being out of the norm. Giving up the white-noise office space for the comforts of my home, I’ve learned a lot of things. I guess you can call them “secrets”, but I like to think of them as learning experiences. I hope you find the following tips helpful in converting your in-office life to a manageable, enjoyable work from home experience.

1. Shutout the World

Depending on how you work, this might not apply to you. But, for the majority of you that need a sanctuary while you work, find a room in your place of residence where you can shut out the world. Think of this place the same as the office space you worked at, at your place of business. The only difference is your commute to work is 50 feet instead of 25 miles.

2. Keep a routine

When working out at the gym, to succeed you need to follow a strict workout regiment. The same goes for when you work at home. My routine when I work from home is basic, but it works for me. I roll out of bed and get dressed like I would any other day I would have gone into the office. I make a cup of coffee, a quick breakfast and then walk to my home office. Some days I skip making that cup of coffee and go out to a coffee shop down the street. You still need to get out of the “office” every once in a while.

3. Treat yourself to coffee

Go out to a coffee shop. I do this at least once a week. This is part of my routine, which I find allows me to get time to clear my mind on the issues of the day.

4. Be a self-starter

This is a big one. You must be a self-starter! There can be many distractions at home that can get in your way.

Distractions vary based off the household, but common ones are below:

1. Television

2. Dogs

3. Kids

4. Significant Others

5. Master video conferencing

Human connection is important when working with a team, even more so when you work from home. There are many tools out there that help connect people that work remote. There are plus and minuses of each tool, so it is important to try multiple ones out to find the one that works best for you and your team.

Here are a list of tools that I have researched and used throughout my career. Each has a benefit:

1. Google Hangouts

2. Slack

3. Screenhero

4. Hipchat

5. Lync

6. GoToMeeting

7. Floobits (Developer oriented)

6. Reliable and fast internet connection

This is probably the most important tip I have to give. The only way you can work remote is to be connected with your team. The only way you can be connected is to have an internet connection. You also need a backup plan. There will be a day that your internet connection stops working. Just because your internet stops, does not mean your work does. Coffee shops with WiFi is your best friend when this happens. A good pair of headphones is also a must have in this situation.