Without a doubt, Home Office is a significant trend in America that is here to stay. This trend started more than 25 years ago and has consistently grown from year to year. And, while most people that DON’T office from the house think this is nirvana, there is much more to it than that. I have been Officing at home for the last 5 years and thought I would share some tips on how I make it work for me.
Here are the 7 things you must to do to successfully Office At Home.
1.Get dressed for work. That’s right, don’t go to work in your PJs, gym shorts, tennis shorts, sweat pants or anything else you would not wear if you were going to an office outside of home. Getting dressed for work changes your attitude of what you are doing in your Home. For the next 8 hours (or whatever period of time you are going to work) you are at work. If you are dressed for work you are much more likely to be productive.
2. Go To Work! While this sounds like an obvious piece of advice many people that office at home don’t…”Go to Work”. You should have a set time that you plan to be at your desk and a set time when you are home. Both getting to the office and leaving the office are important. If you just kind of wander into the office your attitude will be sort of lackadaisical just like it would be if you merely just wandered into your office outside of your home. To successfully Office at Home you MUST get your attitude correct. You must not think of yourself as being at home, but that you are in your place of work. This leads us to rule number 3.
3. While you are in your Home Office be at Work, not at home. When you are in your home office don’t answer the home phone or the front door. Don’t do the little things like taking out the trash, running errands, taking the kids to school, or community events. You are at work. If you were in your other office you wouldn’t do any of these interruptions, don’t do them at your home office. Explain to your family that, while you are at home, you are actually at work. Be tough minded about this because it is important. It will be difficult at first but make the commitment. Your output with jump.
4. Create a work space. Find a space in your house that is just yours. A desk and a chair are preferable, but each home is different. The best place is an office with a door. It should be a place that can be isolated from the rest of the house. You are at work and this space should help you be at work.
5. Set goals. Your day will be much more productive than if you were at the office so you will need to create new more aggressive goals for yourself. You won’t have the distractions of the office environment so you will have more time than ever. If you set reasonable goals for yourself you will see your success rate climb. Make sure you look at your goals daily. Put them up on your office wall so you can keep them handy.
6. Avoid Isolation. One of the biggest traps of working from home is Isolation. Every couple of hours take a bit of time and reach out to a colleague that is also officing at home. Put together a list of people from work that you can take a break with. Don’t talk about work with them. Talk about sports, family, politics, world events, or food. Work to create an office environment with your work partners. Isolation is perhaps the biggest threat to your successful home office. Fight it with the same tenacity you use with all of your other business problems.
7. Communicate. When you office at home you are not in view of the company. You have to make a special effort to let your team know what you are doing. Make a weekly report to your direct supervisor. If you are leading a team of people that work from home make sure to have them communicate their weekly activity and share it with the office. If you or your team has a win, make sure it is communicated to the company. You are not in the office, so if you don’t take the time to do this you will be forgotten by some. If the company is sponsoring an event, make every effort to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event figure out another way to get involved. Send a note to the team in the office to let them know you are thinking of them.
Officing from your home gives you incredible flexibility. You don’t have to spend time in your car commuting. You don’t have to disrupt your family and move to a new community for a new job. You can have flexible hours that can give you a better work/life balance.
So if you can follow just seven simple suggestions you can increase your chance of success. To increase your chances of sales success give us a call and see how we are helping B2B sales organizations achieve their goals.
Rich Hollander is a retail expert with over 40 years in the industry.