Work from home is one of the latest trends in today’s age. Infact, in the USA, there are millions of Americans working from home, with occasional visits to their head offices and making their homes their primary offices. In India, the work-from-home concept is still at a nascent stage and is more popular for women than men. Work life balance is the new mantra for modern women today. There is a myth that work-from-home women professionals are not as successful as their colleagues working on-site. Working from home and maintaining a perfect balance between professional and personal lives can be a very successful one for women provided they know what to do, when and how.
Given below are few tips for a successful career for a work-from-home mom:
1. Set a time schedule: The first basic rule is to set a time schedule for work and following this schedule regularly. This helps you to get into the work mode in a systematic manner and allows you to stay on work throughout the day. Flexibility is one prime reason for which women prefer to work from home nowadays. But even then, it is better to make a routine and stick to it, though it should not be a binding one and make way for flexible arrangement as and when required.
2. Create an office space: Before starting your work from home, make sure that you have a personal space for yourself. Maybe the corner of your bedroom (if you have a little baby) or a study room or the backyard of your home or may be a store room. But, whichever space you choose, make sure that you can convert it into a small workspace. Remember, you don’t need many things: you just need a flat work surface, a chair, a laptop, your phone and a storage cabinet. Creating a personalized space for office work keeps your home organized, gives you the feeling of “working” in an office environment and helps keep you focused in your work. Separate work space from family space.
3. Dress up for work: Since you work from home, you feel that you are free to work in your night suit and pajamas, as there is no dress code. But this should not be the case. It is important that you start your work with fresh mind and a keep a positive mental outlook. It is better to look good and feel good while working. So dress up well for your work.
4. Proper infrastructure: Two basic things that are essential requirements to be successful while working from home are to have a reliable phone and a fast Internet connection. The reason being these are your connections to your employer for whom you are working. You must be available for your employer as and when required. Hence, your phone must always be fully charged and your Internet must be fast enough for speedy downloading of important documents and mails.
5. Stay in touch with your boss and co-workers: Communication is vey essential for a successful work-from-home career. You are given your task list for the month or the week and you always deliver your work on time while working from home. But, do not forget the old adage: “Out of sight, out of mind”. It is important to stay in touch with your boss and co-workers. Communication with your employer, be it for work or for personal greetings in special occasions, is very essential to be successful when you are a remote worker. It is important to stay connected.
6. Avoid distractions: There is a myth that it is easy to work from home. The real truth is that it is not so easy to work from home as when you are at home, you have hundreds of other thoughts and household works in your mind which can distract you from your actual work. The thumb rule here is that just as you schedule your office work time, schedule your time for other household works too. Try completing part of your household chores in the morning before you start your office work. Take a break for lunch, do some small household task, take rest for some time and then resume your work. Once your office work gets over in the evening, complete your other tasks. This way, you can avoid distractions and keep your mind under control. Fix time for different activities.
7. Show professionalism: You should not give up your professional attitude when you work from home. Be professional in your work as well as in your appearance and behavior. If you need to attend a video conferencing, make sure that you have a clean space dedicated for it, away from home clutter. Deliver your work on time to maintain professionalism.
8. Expand your circle: When you work from home, you usually tend to isolate yourself. You get busy with your work and home. But, do not forget to build your network and maintain relationships. Get in touch with people who are in the same type of jobs as yours, not only from the organization in which you are working but also from other organizations. Maintaining your network is very essential to be successful when you work from home.
9. Manage your mobile phone: While you will need your mobile phone for managing your office work, make sure it does not distract you. So no Facebook or WhatsApp during office work. Infact, it is better to turn off any notifications that might distract your attention while you are working. You can check these messages once you are done with your work.
10. To-Do list: Last but not the least, it is always better to keep a To-Do List. Maintain a diary for your personal and household works and an excel sheet for your office work. Don’t miss out on anything important. Mark them in your calendar. Create your own deadlines. There might be circumstances when your kids will become a priority against your work. Nothing wrong in that. Be flexible.