Working Remotely Before Remote Work Was Cool
When I started running my own company and working remotely over 15 years ago, I refrained from letting anyone know I worked from home. I would go out of my way to make sure the dog was outside, the family was quiet, put tape over my doorbell so no one would ring the bell, and simply change the topic if a client mentioned stopping by my office.
Working remotely, back in the day, would usually elicit one of two common responses, “Oh, how does that work for you?” or, there would just be an awkward pause in the conversation. Even though I knew I was getting more work done in a day by working from home than I would in an office, but I still felt the judgment from the corporate world.
Remote work seemed to be considered an “artsy” thing or you were not really serious about your career. I spent 7 years in the hospitality industry learning the ropes before I decided to take the leap of starting my own company. Working remote was the smart thing for me to do. It would keep starting costs low and allow me to create my own work schedule. I started out with a desk, chair, phone, and computer.
Eventually, my company grew and all of my employees or independent contractors worked remotely too. Working remotely can sound fun and freeing, but there are challenges that come with remote work and it is not for everyone. Over the years, I have learned a few habits that have served me well and helped me be successful and productive.
- Create a schedule that works for you. One of the benefits of working remotely can be setting your own hours. I am not a morning person so being in my office at 8 am in the morning is not my thing. Maybe you want to have a 4-day week, work from 9 to 3, or vary the time a bit with three longer days and two shorter days. I like to take half days on Fridays, when possible, to run errands and spend extra time with my family. See what works for you and do your best to stick to a fairly consistent schedule. Keeping regular office hours keeps you from getting distracted with non-working tasks, which can lead you down a non-productive path. If your employer designates your hours, see if you are able to create some flexibility to…