Those of us lucky to be given the opportunity to work from home know that it's not a walk in the the park. Actually, it can easily get out of hand because most of us tend to lose track of time and forget or opt not to switch off and end up working more than ever before! In these dangerous instances, our work life ends up hijacking any personal or family time we once used to enjoy when flexible working wasn't in the equation.
So realistically, working from a home, can either be looked upon as a big blessing or big curse and depends very much on how disciplined and organised we are. Here are seven recommendations which will help you strike the so called 'balance' we all strive to achieve. These are the factors that will help you get prepared for what could be a great flexible working opportunity, these are the ideas which when incorporated make flexible working the best option for us companies and employees alike.
Our Seven Recommendations - Working from home done right.
To begin with, you need to make sure that you have a place for a proper home office. Working from off the kitchen table or trying to get work done from the sofa isn't an option. Furthermore, keep in mind that your partner, family and kids may may be home at the same time as you, and so you need to make sure that you have your own space, which others in the home respect as your working environment. Once you have the right spot, having the right furniture and technology is next. Create a space which will help you get into work mode.
Getting organised isn’t only valuable for your physical work environment, but also for your mental state. Whether you use, alarm clocks, phones, your computer or plain old paper calendar or an agenda, we encourage you to organise your time and stick to your set routine. Act like you're at work, avoid unnecessary non work related interruptions and focus. Just because you're working 'comfortably' from your own designed space, doesn't mean you're producing less, quite the contrary, you've probably never been as productive as you are. Organisation is key.
It's super helpful to have some kind of routine. Schedule coffee breaks, a standard lunch break and plan any calls or video conferencing sessions with your colleagues, clients or managers to keep the communication flowing, the trust present and the productivity high. Remember you need to get used to the fact that for a couple of hours a day you're going to work without getting into your car so a routine and scheduled breaks will help you embrace flexible working.
There are two sides to our next recommendation - Some people get too focused working in a home environment, where they actually neglect proper eating, drinking and movement. The solution for this is simple: organize some alerts using your favorite technology to alert you at well spaced time intervals and follow through of course when the alerts come. Other people may find themselves on the opposite end, where they lack focus and distractions seem to be everywhere. Minimizing distractions and following through with some self-discipline are key here. Here's what we recommend - make sure your television is off while working, avoid lingering on social media channels and chatting with friends, schedule times to answer emails. Come to think of it, if you’re working from the office, we really suggest that you follow this advice too!
Manage food, drinks and snacks
Home workers easily end up snacking like there's no tomorrow. If you can’t resist standing up to go to the kitchen, hide the biscuits and chocolate and ensure there are healthier fruits, nuts or veggies. Prepare a proper lunch in the morning just like you would if you were going to be working from your company office.
Discipline is key no matter where you're working from. Any successful employee, no matter what their career choice or level should be accountable for the goals that they set - working from home is no different. If flexible working is still an experiment, if you're still testing the waters to see if the company you work for will consider you working a limited amount of hours from home, then it's important that together you set goals and keep updating each other with progress reports - this will help you build trust, credibility and keep you on track.
A message from our Founder
In a recent interview one of the world's most loved and successful entrepreneurs Richard Branson said ' “We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or at home. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.”
Those of us who have a career they love, are focused, disciplined, brand loyal and are committed to continue to climb the career ladder know that flexible working is what will make them even more successful and productive. Building working relationships based on performance, goals and trust is the solid foundations we all need to develop. While JobsforMumsMalta.com continues to strive to encourage companies to incorporate flexible working within their company culture, we also work hard to make sure that employees understand the responsibilities and challenges flexible working brings' Katja Dingli Bennetti, Founder, JobsforMumsMalta.com
It's your turn!
You might run a business from home or maybe you've tested flexible working - whatever your position we'd love to hear from you. Tell us what works from you, what the greatest challenges are and how you structure your day to make sure that you keep up the pace and enjoy career satisfaction. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We're eager to hear your take on things.