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Nicole Martin
New Jersey
Remixing my wardrobe to create buzz-worthy, office-approved outfits! Find out more at: Creating Panache.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Considerations When Working at Home

Due to the amount of bad winter weather we've had this year, I have been working from home about once a week for the past 6 six weeks!  This is pretty unusual for me since I typically haul my butt the office 5 days a week no matter what.  But for a lot of folks out there, working at home is a regular occurrence as it's a great help to one's work-life balance.  Not to mention that cutting out a commute is greener (unless you walk or bike to work every day ;)  Anyway, whether you have work from home days scheduled weekly or they are used for one-off situations, here are some things you should consider for such days:

  • Set expectations with your boss & colleagues.  Discussing your work at home schedule with your manager might be obvious, but be sure that your colleagues are aware of your schedule.  This note should also include all ways to contact you throughout the day: e-mail, phone number(s), instant message, etc. 
  • Stick to your normal hours.  While working from home might mean an opportunity to sleep in, just be sure that you are ready to begin your day when you normally would.  Do not take advantage by sleeping in til 10am when you are normally in the office by 8:30am.
  • Recreate your work environment at home.  Having a distinct work space separate from the rest of your living space will mentally prepare you for a productive day.  You don't necessarily need an entire room, but an area that is designated to work only.  If you need home office inspiration, check out this post from Jane Has a Job.
  • Get a sitter.  If your children are home all day or even part of the day, get a sitter to watch them while you are working.  Working at home is not a solution for cutting back on child care costs.  You wouldn't want to end up in a tough situation, like your boss or a client calls while you are in the middle of consoling a crying infant or breaking up a fight between siblings.
Overall, your work environment should have as little distractions as if you were actually in the office, and your colleagues should not notice that you're not physically there.  For those of you who regularly work out of a home office - any other tips??

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