By Melissa Brister
I have been a telecommuter for 3 years and what a great 3 years it’s been! When I first was offered this job, I was hesitant. But now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! I am home to get my kids on and off the bus, I don’t have to mess with traffic and I save money on gas. I go to work even when I’m not feeling the greatest because I am in the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to worry about giving my co-workers flu bug or sharing mine. I can have my music blaring (until the phone rings) and not disrupt anyone. I don’t spend money on going out to lunch and am making healthier choices.
While it is great, working from home has not come without challenges. Here are 4 tips I wanted to share with you to becoming a successful telecommuter.
1. Get up, get dressed.
Every. Single. Day. When I tell people that I work from home, a lot of them will say, “Oh, that’s so great! You get to wear pajamas all day!” But the truth is, I don’t. I get up, shower, put makeup and real clothes on every day. It makes me feel like I have a real job and gives me a lot more energy than staying in pajamas all day.
2. Have a designated work space that is welcoming and functional.
I recently got a new desk from Bush Business Furniture. I am amazed how a new workspace that accommodates all of my needs has changed the way I work. I sit at my desk and do not find myself frustrated with the papers piling or lack of space. I put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and bought a fun accent chair and some bright artwork to make the space feel welcoming. It is a space I WANT to be in and love to look at.
3. Keep on task!
I make a to-do list every day around 4:30 for the next day. It keeps me on track and I know what I have to do tomorrow. It’s easy to get side-tracked.
4. Stay Connected!
Attend company meetings, luncheons, after-work parties. Participate in social media and contests. Develop relationships with co-workers. Working from home can be very isolating, so it is important to stay involved. I try to attend every meeting, luncheon, and after work event that I can. I ask co-workers how their weekends were and about their families. I am a social person, so sitting at home by myself every day can be tough. Stay involved!
Good luck, and just remember, you might be working from home, but you still need to be working!
HOW do they do it? Sometimes, that is what I think when I see my co-workers kicking butt at their job, being parents of the year, making it to happy hour on occasion, working out regularly and looking good while doing it ALL. Let’s be honest—I don’t have kids (and don’t work out enough to count it) and yet the life struggle is still real. I applaud those co-workers because I’m exhausted just thinking about their schedules.
So, how can we all stay sane in a world that is exhausting without going back to the days before the internet (work was 8 to 5—what?!?) and before kids were expected to be in a minimum of 5 scheduled activities a week (make up games outside with the neighbors and just be home by dark—what??!)?
1. Make Time for Dinner (at least 2x/wk)
Doesn’t matter if it is just you, or you and 5 kids; make time to sit-down for dinner and turn off all the phones and other connections to the outside world. If everyone does this, you might just learn more about their day or about that story they heard on NPR or what has been bothering them all day. And if it is just you and your dog (or cat)? Take the time to reflect on your day and all the thoughts swirling in your head. Take a deep breath and relax.
2. The Skimm Life
Everything you need to know about what’s going on in the world sent to you in a daily email so you can make small talk and know what your co-workers are talking about. Caution: Includes sarcastic humor so you may laugh at 6am when you read it sitting in bed on your phone as you struggle to start your day. Click here to get in on it!
3. Talk to Other Women
Make sure you have other women to talk to, whether it is co-workers, your best friend or even your mom. It helps to know you aren’t the only one with problems and anxieties. We all have daily struggles, we just like to put on the persona that everything is awesome so we can keep up with the Joneses.
4. Stay Organized
With your life: Have a planner to stay organized (Outlook or a physical planner—whatever works best for YOU). Say no if you are getting overbooked. Thing about use Microsoft’s OneNote, so you can take notes on your phone, on your computer, on your tablet…and then share the ones you want to share. Realize that some things can be done at 75% and some need to be at 100%, but not all need to be at 110%.
With your things: Invest in some sort of system. Where do you file important documents? Do you have a specific place you set your mail everyday so it isn’t all over the counter? If you can contain the mess and come home to a semi-organized house (it will never be perfect), you will feel calmer. I promise.
4. Pump up that Jam!
Put those headphones on and crank up that Pandora. Sometimes all you need is a little Taylor Swift in your life or to Let it Go to help you get out of a funk and de-stress. Or, try some of these de-stress tips from lifehack.
5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Ask yourself, “Will this matter in 5 yrs, and will I even remember it?” Easier said than done, right? Let’s all commit to focusing on this. After all, life is never going to be perfect.
A Twist-ed Young Professional
5 Ways To Tell That Spring Has Sprung From Your Cubicle When You're Overworked & Usually Go Home After Dark
Do you find yourself losing track of time? Is your cubicle in the middle of the office, far from a window or the happiness-inducing warmth of the sun and its vitamin D glow? Do you get to the office when it’s dark and leave when it has become dark again? Do you sometimes feel like Batman in that you only have time to prowl around in the darkness (maybe that’s just this writer)? Get some clues as to whether the weather is different with some helpful hints below.
1. Listen closely. Hear that? It’s not a stampede of snorting piglets–oh no, friend. Those organic squishy sounds are coming from your coworkers’ schnozes because Spring flowers are blooming outdoors (outdoors is the thing between your cubicle and your car). Some may be medicated, but make no mistake that at least one of your lunch buddies will be in drippy histamine anguish. That’s your first clue. See also: facial tissues flying off the shelf, sneeze symphonies, increased use of eye drops and choruses of “Gesundheit!”
2. As the temperature “outside” begins to increase, you will notice the business casual uniform around the copier beginning to vary. Don’t be alarmed to see a bare forearm or elbow–this is natural and normal. Although it’s hard to tell what the weather is like from the gloomy beige monotony of your workstation, consistent capri-pant and/or polo-shirt attiring illustrates clearly that the seasons have, indeed, changed over to Spring.
3. Similarly, the temperature in the office should reflect this change. Throughout the winter, the office thermostat has probably been hovering near 80 in an attempt to please everyone/cause inadvertent weight loss through sauna-like conditions. Now that the weather is warmer, though, expect a frosty film over your keyboard and computer screen each morning–the air conditioner is working hard to keep you comfortably refrigerated.
4. Check your email. Do you see various requests to join in any kind of “activity” (things people do “after work” in the space between the building and your car), like softball, volleyball, barbecues, run/walks for the cause, theatre in the park, etc.? This one is trickier, but the key is to identify that all of these events will take place mostly “outdoors:”–if so, it’s definitely Spring.
5. When you drive through the nearest acceptably healthy eating establishment (and, let’s be honest, if there’s a drive-thru how healthy can it be?), notice the seasonal selections. This may be difficult in the dark of evening when you’re tired from sitting mostly motionless in one place for roughly ten hours, excercising only your brain and fingers but it’s not impossible, pal. Look for “fresh” ingredients like strawberries and blueberries popping up in 1200 calorie salads. Observe breaded “fish” sandwiches that may or may not have come out of a tube. The colors are also usually a dead Spring giveaway
Twist OP is dedicated to providing solutions to make your job easier so that you can leave work in time to enjoy the crisp air and fresh blooms of spring! Call us today, as we like to say, "we are your FREE admin!"
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