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The Top 5 Qualities Work from Home Employees Need

When I think about working from home and the lifestyle attached to it, I come to think of a few different qualities that I’ve seen in myself, and in others, that make it work and are successful with this lifestyle. Here is a list of those five traits that will help you in your work from home career.   1. Determination Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can kick your feet up and relax. Contrary to all those work from home myths out there, working from home requires dedication, determination, and hard work like any other typical job. You need to work really hard in the beginning to make sure that you are developing the willpower to face the issues plagued by new remote workers.   2. Reliability There can be many more distractions at home than in the office, especially if you are also a working parent or have family dropping in often, so you need to be reliable to your employer. Getting your work in on time is of paramount importance. I’d also like to put in a word of caution here, being reliable doesn’t necessarily mean being speedy. Don’t set an expectation with your boss that you can’t keep. Telling them you will get something done and meeting that deadline consistently is preferable to the employee that always turns in sloppy work early.   3. Organization Since you are in charge of your office space and time delegation, you need to keep track of all your work – whether that is important files, emails, documents, etc. I have a post sharing organization that you may want to read for more info but the basics are simple; spend time every day making sure your work is in order. If you lose something important, there isn’t a tech team around or a co-worker that also...

Tips to Stay Organized When Working From Home

When you work from home you are the chief person in charge of your time and how much you get done. As such, being organized is extremely important to your bottom line. To help you stay on track and to build upon our office space tips, we’ve put together this post to share with you our top organizational advice.   1. Get a digital or physical planner You don’t have to get fancy with your list making, but keeping a planner with personal appointments, meetings, and to-dos all in one place rather than having a bunch of scrap papers all over the place is essential. Consolidating into one notebook or app is the best way to keep organized. I am more of a fan of physical planners because I am a tactile learner, which means it’s easier for me to remember things when I write it down. Plus there is something satisfying about checking a box or crossing off an item in a list. I am currently using the Day Designer planner but other popular ones include the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Create 365 Happy Planner. I don’t use any to-do list apps but I know there are literally thousands of them to choose from so it is just impossible not to find one that works for you. Take a look around the app store or even just use your Google Calendar to keep track of what you need to do. There is also the option to use to-do list or project organization website (like Trello) where you can separate your lists into different folders.   2. Schedule breaks This may not sound like it has to do with organization but having regular breaks really does help you stay more organized. You are much more likely to overlook something or miscategorize a file if you are feeling...

Keeping Your Work at Home Office a Professional Space

Creating your perfect office space is just one step in keeping yourself productive when working from home. In this post I’m going to give you a few tips on how to keep your home office a professional space and in a few days we’ll have for you an organizational post to keep you on track as well! Altogether these posts are going to increase your productivity and help you keep your personal life and professional life separate, which can be such a challenge for remote workers. After you read this post, make sure to share your tips below. The comments we get on the Home Office Career blog are so helpful to the community, so thank you for weighing in!   1. Have a separate desktop If you get easily distracted when on your computer, in addition to blocking social media (unless it’s part of the job) you can also create a separate user account on your computer that will hold only your work files. No photos, a different desktop background, making your work portal your homepage on your browser, etc. These little things will help you associate your space as a work environment. If you don’t know how to create an additional user on your computer, here are the instructions for Mac and PC.   2. Schedule clean ups Random dishes, to-do lists, lip balms, clothing items…So many personal items can accumulate in your office space and they can suck away your productivity and make your space feel more like a catch-all rather than a professional office. Take 5 minutes after your workday to take unnecessary items away from your space and schedule a weekly or bi-weekly deep clean so that you can disinfect your keyboard and vacuum. Offices generally have a janitorial staff and since you work from home, it’s up to you to keep this area...

Working at Home – Myths Vs. Reality

Working from home, as I’ve said on several occasions, is amazing AND challenging. It’s never just one or the other. Part of the challenge in it involves the expectations the world has placed onto us. I’ll go into these thoughts in this article but I’d love for you work from home novices and veterans to let me know what you thought about working from home before and after you got started in the comments!   Myth #1: If you work from home you get to sleep in and work whenever you want — in your pajamas Reality: This is technically true, we could do this. But as I’ve talked about in my “how to” post on going from distracted to productive, having a schedule is the most important thing a remote worker can do, so most seasoned workers don’t do this.   Myth #2: If you work from home you can pick up and go to help family with errands or emergencies easily, no matter the time Reality: No, we can’t. It may technically be easier to leave “the office” since in most cases we don’t have to clear it with a boss, but that doesn’t make it any less disruptive to our work day. Usually we have to sign back into work when we get home, no matter the time.   Myth #3: If you work from home you work from your bed Reality: Not unless we are as sick as a dog! (Although I am guilty of occasionally working from my couch.) No one gets work done from their bed, unless their goal is to browse social media and double tap Instagram photos. It is SO important to designate a space in your house, specifically for a home office. This will keep you on track throughout the day!   Myth #4: If you work from home you...

10 Thoughts Every Work From Home Employee Has

Working from home is a blessing and…interesting. Being at home for extended periods of time can create interesting dynamics between yourself, your work, and your family. Here are some thoughts that run between my mind, and the mind of many others, when working remotely or on your own schedule. 1. Sure, I can fit something else on my to-do list. This is probably the number one thought that crosses my mind. Being at home makes me think I have all the time in the world to be productive. But too many items on your list can be just as bad as none. This thought also blends in with “I can definitely take on one more client.” Lately I’ve been keeping my to-do list to only 5 items, everything else I get done is just extra. Keeping a set number to your list makes sure you only focus on the priorities.   2. Okay, I’ll take a ten minute break and then I’ll get back to work. When being at home, it’s harder to delegate breaks to end exactly when they should. Especially if you notice a pile of dishes in the sink or your dog needs a walk. If you think it’ll take a moment, give in to the distraction and then get back to work right away. Just don’t take on a big project right in the middle of your work day that doesn’t actually have to be done, instead use that project as an incentive to get done early.   3. What time is it? A watched pot will still boil, despite the saying. But watching your clock will certainly be boring and make the time feel slower. I recommend using the app Flat Tomato to keep you on task and aware of the time, without being obsessive about checking it and losing your iPhone battery.  ...

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