Working from home may sound like an easy job, but it isn’t. While you do get to choose your working hours and times, you also have to manage the added pressure of family demands at home. Having said that, we still advocate the trend of working from home. In today’s world, women have to be superwomen in order to manage home, family, hearth and career. Working from home, does make it a little more possible.
If you are working from home, or if you plan to work from home, please do not fool yourself about anything. There are going to be distractions. Too many of them, actually! Your efficiency while working from home, might be half of that in an office. You may have to spend more time at your desk, to get the same amount of work done. Worry not, we’ve got your some tips and suggestions that will help you in remaining focused and in improving your efficiency on the job. Here goes:
• Assemble Your Home Office: To run an efficient home office, you need a desk with a comfortable chair. A computer with good configuration, a fax machine, a printer and a scanner are must haves. Apart from this, you need a phone and internet hook up. Broadband is the way to go!
• Office Hours: Like any other working woman, you must have your office hours fixed. If you do not allocate fixed timings to work, you might find yourself dilly dallying and unable to finish projects in time. When fixing office hours, keep in mind the school timings of your kids, your partner’s routine etc.
• Tell Everyone: It won’t make much sense to fix office hours if your mother keeps calling during that time, or if the neighbors keep dropping in. So when you start working from home, make sure that all your friends, neighbors and your family knows to not to disturb you. Neither should the servant keep coming to ask about the dinner menu, nor should your kids bring their squabbles up to you for solutions. Everyone should know that you are at work, and not to be disturbed unless there is an emergency.
• Breaks: Working at home is great in the aspect of taking breaks. Since there is no boss breathing down your neck, you can work or take a break whenever you like. Taking a break every hour or two is fine, as long as you keep coming back to work within minutes. The breaks should not be so long that the work starts suffering.
• Communication: Communication with your employers should not be ignored. Since you won’t be meeting each other on a daily basis, you have to resort to emails and phone calls. Make sure that your employers know what you are working on at any particular time, and maintain a constant flow of feedback with them.
• Feel Lucky: Many women feel guilty because of working from home. They feel guilty because they are sitting at home, while their spouses are at work. They also feel guilty because they are home, yet they cannot give undivided attention to their kids. Don’t all into this trap. You need not feel guilty. You should feel lucky. You are managing a career and taking care of your family as well. All you are doing is getting rid of the wastages (commuting, getting ready for work, coffee breaks, gossip at work etc).
• Social Interactions: Working from home can have one negative result for many women. It cuts out the social interactions that you might have had in a regular job. So you must make an effort to develop a social circle with friends or neighbors etc. Pamper yourself during the weekends, go out, socialize, and have fun. Don’t be just a working woman.
A work at home job may not be easy, but it does provide you the best of both worlds. So enjoy it, and do as best as you can.