Working from home is becoming a more and more common option for professionals in all kinds of fields, and in recruitment, it certainly isn’t unusual. If you’ve recently decided, or been given the opportunity to work from home some or all of the time, at first it can seem like the best idea ever – no more time or money wasted on commuting, the ability to work more flexibly, and of course, the lack of obligation to wear proper clothes every morning. However, if you’ve never worked from home before, you may find it a little different to how you imagined, and you may also discover some challenges you weren’t expecting. Here are three things to be prepared for when you first start working from home:
You Need Better Strategies to Avoid Procrastination
If you are prone to procrastinating, which most of us are to some degree, you’ll find working from home full of new temptations that, if you don’t have good strategies in place to cope with, can make a dent in your productivity. This can leave you in the undesirable position of working later and actually having less personal free time than you did when you were based at the office. At work you may limit the amount of time you spend scrolling mindlessly through your Facebook news feed or window shopping on the internet because people will see and get a bad perception of how much work you do. At home, you need to be more disciplined. People try all kinds of different strategies but good ones include having a space at home that is completely dedicated to work and not permitting yourself to do any other tasks when you are there, or working to a strict schedule of breaks and only taking focus from work tasks during allotted times.
People Will Think You Are Always Free
The people you work with will of course expect you to be on hand during normal working hours while you’re working from home. Sadly, so will friends and family members. A common complaint from home workers is that the people in their lives don’t think they really have to be working, and are therefore free for an afternoon shopping trip, get together in the pub, or to do favours like airport runs or helping them move house. Nip this in the bud as early as you can, and if you wouldn’t normally answer personal phone calls or messages in the office, don’t feel bad about ignoring them ‘til work is over at home, either.
You Need to Work Harder to Stay in the Loop
When you’re at the office every day, you’re part of the team – you know everything that is going on in your co-workers lives and their views on everything from the EU to the latest episode of Game of Thrones. The culture and camaraderie is part of what gets you through the stressful times, and a little bit of office gossip and drama is fun. The less time you spend physically with your team, the harder you have to work not to lose that. Make sure you still go to work social events and take the time to chat a little socially (even if only online) with your colleagues when you are working.
Working from home is something most people get used to with little difficulty and can soon find actually does give them the boost in efficiency they thought it would. Just be aware that not all of the changes are immediately positive, and so you’ll need to plan for how to adapt.
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