Revolutionary Assistants aren’t just outside their managers’ doors anymore. Sometimes they’re working out of their home, a “virtual” assistant to their manager or managers.
We who are in offices are jealous of this, because we’re all imagining how great it would be to work on a PowerPoint presentation and throw in a load of laundry at the same time. Or run the dishwasher. Or even just be at home so that the cable guy can show up whenever it suits him and not get ticked off about it.
The fact of the matter is that people who work out of their homes have similar disruptions, can feel a lack of camaraderie, and just feel plain uncomfortable when they’ve only got a couch and a laptop to get them through eight hours of work. So what’s the perfect combination of environment and attitude that will give you the most productive day? Well, I did a little revolutionary research, and these are some of my favorite hints:
Get a good office chair – This was the number one thing everyone seems to recommend, and it makes a lot of sense. Get an office chair you feel comfortable in. If you don’t feel comfortable in it, you’re not going to sit in it. Simple as that!
Keep everything you need on hand – If you have to run out every hour for staples or reams of copy paper, you’re not going to get much done during your workday. Keep an additional supply of all your go-to items on hand, and replenish them the way you would if you were managing your office’s supply cabinet: before they run out!
Create a space you want to be in – Consider not just your need for natural light, but also for task lighting. Make sure you have adequate storage space, and if you need to, get creative with your home office’s nooks and crannies. There are plenty of hints on the internet to help you. Think about plants and family pictures, and all the things that make you happy.
Use Dropbox or Google Drive to help you keep documents close at hand – Nowadays, you can throw your work right on the cloud, and leave it there to access from another computer, another place. That’s a great way to do business, because you’re not dragging files around with you to the coffee shop or the park when you want a change of scenery. It also helps you protect your work from being lost on a hard drive that could crash.
Stay connected with co-workers – A person who works at home can feel mighty isolated. Consider a weekly or monthly trip into the office to connect with co-workers in person, or use FaceTime to have a virtual face-to-face chat. Don’t let yourself get too lonely!
Decide if you work well with interruptions or if you don’t – Some people embrace the flexibility of a work-at-home position and welcome friends and neighbors who drop by. Others get derailed easily and would rather avoid those interruptions. If you’re the type that wants to keep visitors and other distractions at bay, establish working hours and rules that you stick to. Tell visitors, “I’m working now, but I’ll give you a call later.” Set the boundaries!
Working at home can be a really great way to get things done. Even though distractions can be an issue, I’m still looking at this load of laundry and feeling jealous over those of you that get to stay at home. Well…someday!
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