When I tell people I work from home I typically get one of five responses.
- Oh that’s awesome, I’m so jealous.
- Tough commute huh?
- Do you actually get any work done
- Do you stay in your pajamas everyday?
- What happened on Days last week, I missed it?
& my responses:
Oh that’s awesome, I’m so jealous. - You should be, I’m basically living the dream.
Tough commute huh? - If Starbucks wasn’t so far away it would make the commute much better.
Do you actually get any work done - Not really, they pay me to sit around and look pretty.
Do you stay in your pajamas everyday? – I wish, the dogs look at me funny if I don’t get dressed.
What happened on Days last week, I missed it? - The same thing that happened as last week but with MORE DRAMA! Can you believe it?
Ok, I kid; however, I have found that there are some keys to successfully working remotely.
Working from home can be awesome, and a wonderful tool to make all your friends jealous. By eliminating your commute, you not only help the environment but provide an extra XX minutes in your day to accomplish all the other things you wish you were doing instead of sitting in traffic. This point was especially true for me since my average commute was 90 minutes a day each way. I have now gained an extra 3 hours in which I’m able to get a little more sleep, squeeze in a little longer run, and watch one more episode of Mad Men on Netflix.
You’ll notice that I say I only gained 3 hours. That is because, yes, I do in fact get work done. I have been the top performing sales rep for my company since my first full quarter. If you too would like to work from home, and be successful at it, you have to be diligent and self-motivated.
I still set my alarm and get out of bed. I still shower AND get dressed. I walk down the two flights of stairs and plant myself at a desk complete with phone, internet, and absent a television. I listen to the radio a little louder than I would in an office environment and I frequently have a dog (or two) curled up under my feet.
When I first had the opportunity to work remotely, at a previous company, I skipped most of these steps. In fact, there were days when I found myself sitting in bed with the TV on and laptop by my side. I noticed my performance suffering. It was odd, it wasn’t that I was working any less, I was just working less effectively. That’s when I decided regardless of where I’m working or what I’m doing you have to distinguish WORK from HOME.
I have a dedicated room and get dressed as if I’m going into an office, although I will admit we have more “casual” days here. For example, this is what I work yesterday.
Part of the challenge of working from home is the lack of separation. You can find yourself working far more, or far less than you normally would. I still take a lunch, mine just happens to include Days of Our Lives & laundry. Just be sure to dedicate yourself to your work so you can continue to enjoy the pleasure of working remotely after all if you don’t work hard, you’ll eventually find yourself hardly working.