There is lot of talk about whether working from home works or not. It is either a super success or a super failure, there is hardly any room for the middle path out here. I have worked from home and I have also worked as a lone employee in the office. Of course I am not a woman, but I have known a few of my friends who have successfully worked from home, with a toddler at home for several years. Working remotely, works for them.
1. Mindset: The organization needs you less than you need the organization, if you don’t deliver, your “honeymoon” would be over within a very short while. Your boss maybe accommodating, to say the same about her/ his boss would be kiddish.There would be a few heart burns around, you need to ensure that you are always seen to be doing things right, apart from doing things right anyway. Flexibility must add to your productivity.
2. Discipline: You have to have a routine, declare it and stick to it. You can’t be pulling a fast one, ever. Always have a self audit form which you don’t share with your office. This is you talking to yourself, in writing. It should be such that it can be shared if it comes to it that you feel being shortchanged.
3. Seating: A couch would seldom work. You need to put in a proper workstation, which is your workstation and nothing else. It must have your favorite family photographs and everything else which motivates to earn an honest living for yourself and your family. You need to carry your all backups and supplies and ensure that you review them every Friday evening.
4. Getting ready for work: Getting out of your pajamas is essential. You should be dressed during your working time the same way you would be dressed in your own office and you must dress the same way for conference calls as you would dress for a 1:1 business meetings.
5. Communication: It becomes very critical, you need to always remember that “you are not there.” Your communication has to be absolutely unambiguous, it should never need any clarification. Reading all communication received twice and placing it in correct perspective is as important as reading outbound communication at least once before pressing that send button.
6. Baby sitting: You need to have one, you can’t save on this account, it will hurt in the long run. If you both work from home see to it that your work hours overlap as often as possible.
7. Commuting time: Fuel cost can be pocketed, saving on commuting time should be invested in skill development. When you are in office, there is a lot of passive skill development through knowledge sharing which happens all around you, at home that kind of dries up. You need to ensure that you are always up to speed on what all is happening around.
8. Data safety and security: This can be the biggest challenge. It is important to have an electronic data safe and ensure that you keep all your business valuables protected at all times. Syncing up with your office network and saving all drafts is a mission critical task.
9. Hot Seating or Office Desk: Insist on some kind of hot seating for you which you can avail whenever you need the same. You can’t only go to your office when you are called or invited. You need to go when you have a need to have a cup of coffee with someone you work closely with.
10. Networking meetings at home: If you are at a responsible position and have others reporting to you, consider having casual networking meetings at your home or at common easily accessible places.
Do suggest more tips and experiences to add further value to this post.