How To Overcome The Challenges of Working From Home
More and more companies are embracing telecommuting, working from home, and/or working remotely (working somewhere other than in an office), and many commercial real estate professionals have the freedom to work where ever they choose to. People tend to have an idealistic view of what it’s like to work remotely and the life-changing options it affords – especially when it comes to working from home. While there are many advantages to working from home, it is not without its challenges. Here are three of the common issues that you will most likely encounter and how to overcome them:
Having full control over your day can be empowering, or overwhelming, depending on your personality. When working from home, all of the time that you used to spend stuck in traffic driving to and from the office goes away so you get that time back. It may also cause you to not pay attention to time because you now have extra time back in your day. Time management can be a huge problem. Before you know it, the day is over and you might not have finished everything you needed to accomplish.
It’s best to get into a daily routine to help keep yourself accountable, and to prevent yourself from overworking and burning out. Utilize a commercial real estate CRM, like ClientLook, to schedule tasks for yourself. Start and finish your day at the same time and schedule out your whole work day on a calendar. This will prevent your obligations, client phone calls, and meetings from overlapping, and the hours won’t slip away aimlessly.
In addition, get in the habit of creating a to-do list at the end of each day when things are fresh in your mind. That way you will wake up with a prioritized list the next morning so you can jump into work instead of wondering where to start.
When working from home it can be tempting to watch TV, do laundry or wash the dishes instead of working. No one is looking over your shoulder telling you to get back to work so being self-directed and motivated is critical for your success. For those of you with young kids or family who also stay at home, it can be difficult focus on your work. Constant interruptions and household chores can prevent you from getting as much work done as possible. Also, it can be challenging to find a quiet place to take calls and have meetings.
To minimize distractions, try to get all of your personal tasks done before or after your work hours and develop the mindset that unless something is critical it can wait until you finish your work day. It’s also best to set up a dedicated workspace, preferably one that is private and has a door that you can close. Focusing on work becomes easier when you eliminate the potential distractions around you. Make sure to logout of any personal social media sites on your phone and computer (or at the very least turn off the notifications) during your work hours.
One of the most significant challenges when working from home is communication with your manager and other team members. When working from home you typically don’t have the opportunity for impromptu chats during a break or when you need to discuss a deal. When you work in an office next to co-workers, bonding is bound to happen. Most likely you’ll spend a little time each day talking about each other’s personal lives and work-related things as well. Unfortunately, when working from home this typically does not happen very often or without a concerted effort.
To overcome this, organize and participate in weekly team and company meetings using a communication tool such as Skype, Slack, or GoToMeeting. If you use one of these tools make sure to use the video camera as well since you will feel much more connected if there is a visual component.
I certainly don’t want to paint a picture that working remotely is not worth the additional effort. If you can overcome the challenges above, I think will you notice an increase in your productivity. I personally find I get more accomplished when I’m working from home because there are fewer distractions and overall I tend to be in a better mood. Plus, when I start my day after a walk with my dogs instead of being stuck in traffic, I am more focused in a positive frame of mind.
Our commercial real estate software makes it easy to work from anywhere! Whether you are at the office, working from home, or traveling, it’s easy to stay organized. Quickly access all of your contacts, properties, and deal information from the palm of your hand with our iPhone app. If you’re not a ClientLook subscriber, sign up today for our free 21-day trial or schedule a complimentary demo to see how our CRM can help you save time, increase your productivity, and make more money in your commercial real estate business – no matter where you work.