How to Effectively Work from Home

Working remotely can be the ultimate career gift or curse.

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While answering emails in your pajamas with your hair in a bonnet is super relaxing, there is also a downside to working from home. Pajamas become your new normal and after a few months your body physically rejects slacks and button-down shirts and you’re relegated to yoga pants and hooded sweatshirts. You also have to work three times as hard to prove that you are an effective member of the team with noteworthy contributions.

Here are 5 ways to effectively work from home.

Master the list.

Write a list of everything that needs to be completed within the month is vital. After you’ve set those goals for the month, you can divide the assignments into weekly tasks. Always start with the most challenging first. Pro tip: monitor the actual time and effort put into completing tasks so that you have a realistic estimate of how long it will take to solve similar problems.

Schedule emails.

I typically begin my workday at 7:00 am when I first check email. I stop around 2 pm and pick back up for an hour or so around 7 pm. My point is, while I work 8 hours or more each day I don’t work them consecutively. In order to give off the illusion of a typical work day a few times out of the week. I schedule an email around 7:30 am and another around 4 pm; mostly as a status update on projects that don’t require a response.

Call-- don’t type or text.

As a millennial, I just prefer the sweet sound of keys hitting a keyboard over the sound of a coworker’s jarring voice. However, others need to hear the sound of your voice for memory purposes. Always call (especially if it's your supervisor) for issues that can be resolved in a matter of minutes. It strengthens relationships and helps people continue to see you as a personal and vital member of the team.

Document your accomplishments.

While working remotely, you may encounter that one person who strongly believes that its impossible to work from home because nothing is actually getting done. You can stop that naysayer dead in their hating tracks by providing receipts on your accomplishments listed on your brag sheet. Not only will the brag sheet come in handy during your annual review, but it will also be useful when updating your resume.

Resist distractions and daytime television.

Working from home in all its convenient glory has plenty of distractions from piled up laundry to random dust bunnies traversing the floors as you send emails. Stay focused on your work and productivity and resist the urge to clean until your lunch break. During that time only devote 45 minutes to chores and don’t attempt to turn on the TV. Instead, listen to a podcast or audiobook. The TV should only be consumed at the end of the workday and it can symbolize ‘quitting time.”

Cheers to a no pants work day!

P.S. This goes without saying—don’t drink when you’re on the clock. The image was taken on a Saturday.

Love + Light

Ar’Sheill Monsanto

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