One of the top benefits of working from home is the reduction of distractions, usually doled out by those around you in a busy office environment. Now that you’re at home, there is the challenge of staying connected to both your organization (and your sanity).
Staying connected when working from home can give you a number of benefits:
- Sanity – yes, sanity in a sometimes deafening quiet work environment
- Relevance – staying “top of mind” with executives now rests with you
- Friendships – cultivating or maintaining friendships that started in the workplace benefits all parties.
How can you stay connected while working from home:
- Call your colleagues and boss often – schedule calls with your team during times in your day that require a boost of energy, and not during your biological prime time. After lunch may be a good time to do this, for all parties.
- Pass along news of relevance – this is especially great for your leadership team and executives. Email or connect via social media and pass along new articles, blogs, etc that add value to their day or career.
- Speaking of social media…. Connect with colleagues, clients and execs via social media. Schedule dedicated time per day or week to stay on top of your platforms and add relevant comments and articles where appropriate
- Attend organization parties and functions – does your workplace celebrate birthdays or work anniversaries, or perhaps the retirement or departure of team members? Ensure you still go into the office to see and celebrate your team members
- Dial in early – do you still take part in teleconference calls? Call in a bit early and chat with the other early-birds.
- Set up skype or other chat platforms – some organizations allow for team members to chat (either verbally or through text); ensure you are on the chats and contribute when relevant
- Schedule meetings – attend meetings or ask for meetings with your team lead or colleagues. Go to your office, or set up offsite meetings and give your colleagues a breath of fresh air as well by taking them out to a coffee shop.
- Lunch dates – set up lunch dates with colleagues, boss, or even friends and family members. You all have to eat, and doing picnic style in a park is a great way to save lunch money, get some fresh air, and return to the office energized for the remainder of the work day.
- Connect with your mentor – go out to see your mentor in coffee shops and restaurants, or the picnic lunch idea I mentioned earlier
- Join networking groups – whether they are industry related groups, or other types of networking (ie. Chamber groups, business groups, women’s entrepreneur groups, etc), get out and attend monthly meetings.
Seeing people throughout the week will give you the boost of energy you need to power through those days at home that seem isolated. Remember, you’re NEVER alone and there are likely tons of people in your industry experiencing the same feelings of isolation as more and more people move their offices home. Become a network of telecommuters and support each other continually by staying connected, and you’ll be more productive and inspired in your work!
Still not sure you’re cut out to work from home? This work-from-home self evaluation tool may provide insights on some of the struggles you may face when working from home.
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