Have work policies and guidelines that you actually follow and clearly communicate them to your colleagues, families and friends.
When Working at Home
- Designate a Space for work stocked with necessary supplies
- Establish routines (schedule administrative time, strategic work, etc.)
- Know how to access key support (IT, Administrative help, etc) or find your own resources
Establish Policies for Managing Your Incoming Items
If you have preferences for you colleagues should send you information, establish a system for managing the flow your incoming items (paper, voice mails, e-mails, etc.) and communicate it to your colleagues so they know how to get in touch with you, and how to get your attention for important projects/issues. Include:
- When will you check and respond to email or voicemail (set times a day? Use autoresponders if possible)How do they provide you with important documents (will someone send you a mail package each night (electronic or hardcopy?)
- How should they provide you with important documents (will someone send you a mail package each night (electronic or hardcopy?)
Develop a Filing System that Makes File Sharing Easy
Having a filing system like iPEP that everyone can access no matter where they are is a huge productivity booster. Working from home and accessing work based files becomes easier when you are all looking at the same thing.
Have a Mobile Filing system
Swiftfile is an example of a filing system that allows you to organize your work and tasks by due date. Enhance it with permanent action folders and use a To the Office and To Home folder to move documents between location.
Set up key folders for reoccurring communication with people or on subjects and let others know how to use them. (Urgent, Consider, Do)
Be Clear in Use of Your Time
- Maintain One Calendar for personal and business appointments
- Block out time to complete priority work when at home and in the office
- When going into the office, have clear goals & objectives for the day of the tasks, meetings and projects that need to be addressed
- Keep office hours when you are working at home and set boundaries with families and friends so they know even though you’re at home, you are on the clock and working.
- Follow up and respond to colleagues during business hours (to avoid perception that you’re not working during the day).
- Don’t ignore the necessity for social time with key colleagues/superiors to maintain visibility and relationship ties with.