What it's like working remotely
I have been working remotely since 2013. It HAS NOT BEEN EASY! It requires an immense amount of discipline and organizational skills you thought you had. I worked for both corporate orgs and government orgs remotely. I left all of it in 2017 and never looked back.
Back to the story…..I had to learn the hard way that not only did I need to manage my corporate projects in Microsoft Project, I needed to manage myself along with work.
I started my business back in 2014 but it was only on the side and I had a handful of clients at a time. Over the years I have increased my clientele which has in turn made me feel confident to take that leap of faith into entrepreneur land by quitting my job in 2017.
When you’re working you will lose track of time. You may get caught up working on one project and not focus on your to-do-list for the day. It is SUPER important to have. No matter if you work for yourself or for someone else while remote make sure you follow these next rules of thumb.
1. Have a healthy work life balance. GO FOR A WALK! Yes this means go outside or step away from your desk. It is so easy to get caught up between conference calls, meetings and projects.
2. Use project management tools that go wherever you go. Yeah, ummm this helps. Seriously if you have ever had 22 projects running simultaneously you would know. Download Asana for free and start managing your projects and create teams. You can even invite team members (more than 2 and you’ll start paying, but its small so no worries).
3. Don’t forget about friends. Sometimes you forget about the outside world. But don’t forget about your existing friends. Call, email, text, keep in touch! If you’re looking for more….. go to some local networking events (see my post on the 7 tips for business networking). Sometimes when you work from home the isolation feeling begins to set in. AVOID it like the plague! Contact your HR department and see if they have support for local events or if they can fly you out for various conferences that help support your position or the company overall. You would seriously be surprised when all you do is ask.
4. Get dressed, smell good, etc. I say this because you never know when someone wants to hop on a skype, google+ or zoom session. Be prepared and don’t always work in pajamas. I worked from home for my first year in pjs and I started feeling sluggish and lazy. Plus I dodged all the calls where I had to be seen. That’s not a good look if you plan on moving up the ladder or if you have an anxious customer who wants to see who they are talking to. Yes, you will get one of those.
5. Having kids at home. Yeah, ummmm pick and choose your times wisely. For me I had my son at home and he was young and it worked out fine. But just remember conference calls and screaming in the background as well as diaper changes, etc. You be the judge and have help from a family member, on-call babysitter or drop in daycare. You can’t slow your money down so be prepared!