You're working from home...now what? Your boss may have released you to work a flex schedule on your own turf, but getting the job done is still top priority. With family distractions and life interruptions all around, how do you stay productive? As more and more people are working virtually, this new way of working comes with a new set of rules. Here's a 6-step cheat sheet to being super productive and shining bright on the job without having to be there physically.
1. Set up a home office.
Having a designated workspace boosts your productivity and professionalism. Working on the couch in front of the TV may tempt you to reach for the remote. Being in the Kitchen could distract you of looming chores fighting for your attention. Alas, a chosen area conducive to concentration increases your chances of getting more done in a day. Alternative workspaces ideas: the library, a café, coffee shops, the park or a co-working space. All of these spaces are good for use. The main thing is making sure you define your workspace and use it for work.
2. Put in some face time using Facetime.
A quick 15-minute morning meet up to discuss your work list can keep you on track and focused to finished. You'll also assure your boss that you're on your game when they can see that you're dressed, ready and reporting for duty.
3. Capitalize on Creative Communication
Avoid being an out-of-the-loop lone ranger by staying connected through constant communication. Engage in a virtual brainstorming session using a private Pinterest board. Update notes on shared projects to keep your team in the up to speed. Keep your iChat open to inform others know when you have started your day, taking a break or will be gone for the evening.
4. Show Your Work through video
Sometimes phone calls, texts and emails just don't make the cut when explaining something that could have been shown in seconds. With built in cameras on computers, it's easy to record yourself explaining your project and illustrating the high points. My VA sends me video clips of a changes made to my website. I love seeing the process in action. You can use video to create trainings that others can reference when you're not available. For a real time work experience, share your computer screens using programs like GoToMeeting or Join.me. Use the shared screens to collaborate on everything from design projects to editing a speech.
5. Sync Your Calendar
Do you have a lot of meetings or deadlines to meet? Create an open calendar using
Use calendar applications like Entourage or Google Calendar to sync your work appointments, deadlines, vacations and other dates. Update the events often with notes to keep your manager informed of your events. This will keep you all on the same page and time line for assignments, meetings and more.
6. Let your work be easily accessible.
Avoid bottlenecking a project because you're housing all the files on your computer. Most companies use cloud storage systems like Box.net to keep all the important documents in one place. Make it a part of your daily routine to upload and update your working files so that your coworkers can continue on with the project. When it's all said and done, upload the finished files in a folder marked "final version". A good virtual filing system will save you loads of time and energy.