How to Work from Home 101

Monday, April 6, 2020
Circumstances can change the way we do a lot of things including the way we work! Right now in America, LOTS of people are working remotely- while it is not a NEW trend, it was a RAPID move for many businesses. Years ago, we were faced with circumstances that resulted in the resignation of a trusted and valuable staff member. At the time, we had never even considered a remote workforce. Today (before COVID-19) we have 6 remote staff members. I’ve asked Hope- the team member who caused me to look for ways to KEEP HER on my team?- to shed a little light on how to work from home effectively. As a business owner, it is such a relief KNOWING that I do now have to worry about Hope’s work ethic or productivity!
Thank you Hope- appreciate you!
I have been working from home successfully for over 5 years now. It is funny to hear people’s reactions when I tell them that I work from home. Many respond and tell me that working from home is their DREAM! I often wonder if it would still be their dream if they had a little taste of the pros and the cons. While not having to commute, not having to budget for lunches, being in my own space and working alongside my fur babies is great, there are some aspects to working from home that actually make it difficult. Being disconnected from the team, added difficulty with communication, LOTS of distractions and other things make remote working harder than you might imagine. Just because you work from home does not mean that you can come and go as you please. You still have a job to do, I still have certain hours that I am expected to answer phones and emails. There are times that other people have to be in my home during these hours, and that can get tricky. It also took me quite some time to find the balance, at first, I felt like I was never working because I was always distracted by “home” things; cleaning, laundry or gardening. I would start these things on a break or just get sidetracked. Then there were days that I felt like all I did was work. I felt like I never left the office. I felt obligated to answer the phone if it rang after my hours. If I couldn’t sleep at night I would work. What a great way to burn out!
After a few months, I got it figured out and now I can tell you that working from home is WORK- but it is also very rewarding.
Here are my WORKING FROM HOME 101 TIPS for you
  • Treat your ‘home’ office and your home like 2 separate places
  • Get up each day and GO to work- mentally & physically
  • Set your workspace up so you FEEL like you are in an office
Stay connected with your team
  • Emails
  • Virtual Meetings
  • Quarterly Visits
Do things that help you stay focused
  • Set alarms for breaks
  • Do not work from the couch
  • Post office hours on your ‘office’ door
When my husband’s job relocated him, I REALLY did not want to leave my team at TMC but they did not have a remote position at the time. I am so thankful that my boss took a chance on setting up something new and that we got to work together to make working remotely a success for not only me but for others on the team as well. Remote team members can add a ton of value to businesses as long as they understand that they have to GO TO WORK just like they were going to an office.
Being remote has lots of benefits as long as you are sure to set yourself up for success!
Hope Sandusky 4/6/2020