Working from home with HP

Working from home with HP

Working from Home

March 2013

With the influx of new online communications such as internet telephoning, email, instant messaging and virtual private networks, a new kind of worker has emerged: the telecommuter, or home worker.

There are inherent benefits in this flexible work structure. Companies benefit from the savings involved in reducing office space, whereas you as a worker have more time to devote to work as you bypass commuting and deal with fewer interruptions than at the office. You also get to enjoy a much more flexible working style.

The double irony that has emerged is that workers from home are often more productive than their office counterparts, but are not regarded as such because of the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. Workers who are seen to be working are more prized than those who are not. The result is that accomplishments often get overlooked, and reliable home workers lose motivation. Another threat to motivation is the absence of someone looking over your shoulder which tempts some telecommuters to do as little as they can get away with.
But applying some of the pressures of the office is a good way to keep motivated. Here are other helpful tips to bear in mind when aiming to be a productive telecommuter:

Get back what you put in
Hate it when people look over your shoulder at work? The same can happen when you neglect your office work at home. Constant phone calls from your boss can make you feel monitored instead of managed. A manager places trust in you by allowing you to work remotely. A sure way to lose this trust is to sleep in, be tardy, and miss deadlines due to a home environment. Of course, if you perform to and above expectations, you might soon get to enjoy more freedom, and the more relaxed work environment your home provides.

Stick to your routine
There’s a famous maxim that says, “Motivation is starting. Success is continuing.” Making performance a habit is just that. Your environment might be different for work at home, but don’t treat it differently in terms of expectations. Stick to the same work hours to maintain your mindset. It doesn’t mean there’s no time for fun.  The time you save by not commuting can be used to make more of your day, for example making a healthy breakfast instead of snacking somewhere, as well as doing exercise, which can help your body and mind prepare for the rigors of the workday.

Dress for the part
It’s tempting to stay in your robe and slippers when you start your workday from home, but dressing as if you’re at the office gets you in the right mindset, and keeps you there. It’s also harder to nip out and do chores around the house when you’re dressed in corporate garb. Baking a cake, watering the garden, cleaning the house – leave all that until the real work is done.

Discipline yourself
The very tool that allows you perform work remotely can end up distracting you: your PC. With the advent of the internet, your computer has become a tempting sinkhole for wasted time. An app like RESCUE TIME* helps you to identify missing hours and use them to get more done. A more extreme measure is the StayFocusd* Google Chrome extension, to help you avoid web distractions by blocking access to it. To set up StayFocusd, simply navigate to an offending site, and click the StayFocusd button in your Chrome toolbar to block this entire site. StayFocusd does allow you ten minutes to browse the sites added to your blocked list, so you can still indulge a bit before you're blocked.

 In order to get a fair evaluation, it’s important to let your boss and colleagues know of your accomplishments. Treating your home as an extension to your office goes some way to achieve this. Send regular emails, follow up on assignments promptly, and generally make your presence known – be it from a distance. Communication is vital to keep you connected to your office – make them take notice and fairly evaluate you, and thus maintain your motivation.
Reward yourself
The isolation of working at home can affect you in unusual ways. For example, the feedback you receive for tasks at the office often comes quickly and serves as encouragement. Alone at home, you are somewhat deprived of this. So why not reward yourself for every task you complete successfully?   

Take a small walk to refresh your mind, grab a coffee with a colleague, or watch a work-related documentary from a service such as NetFlix. You can also treat yourself to a power nap to recharge the creative batteries.

In the end, remote working is only one of many working styles. Maintain an open line of communication with the people at the office who need you, and they too will soon see the opportunities working from home presents. With the time saved by not commuting, you’re actually left with more time to get work done. So why not make the most of it and improve your output?  As only you decide the working conditions, make sure your home comforts don’t affect your productivity.

*HP and its suppliers assume no responsibility whatsoever for any damages which may result from the use of this software, and the user does so at their own risk. For company use, please check your company policy.

For the original article from HP click here