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What Working from Home Has Taught Us

Whether you’ve spent a short time working from home or that’s become your primary office location, anyone who has resided at home while working has learned a thing or two from the remote experience.

And as with many experiences, there are pluses and minuses associated with it all.

Communication is More Than Key

If you don’t know how to be honest and open when it comes to communication, you better learn quickly before setting up shop at home. Communication isn’t just verbal either, silence speaks volumes, and body language shouts in some cases.

When working remotely, there are new ways of communicating that you need to get used to navigating. Instant messaging apps like Slack, video conferencing tools like Zoom, and the good-old telephone conversation are all communication options now.

Your True Sense of Discipline Comes Out

Working from home brings a litany of distractions you weren’t used to maneuvering in the office. From pets and children needing your attention all day every day, washer and dryer sounds echoing throughout the home, and the Amazon driver ringing your doorbell with each delivery, you need to learn how to block out the noise, and focus. This might mean setting up your home office in a specific, distraction-free location, but more than likely means setting expectations for both those at home with you and your colleagues across the remote world.

Camera Covers are Everything

Unless you’re someone who always feels 100% camera-ready while working from home, and that’s non-existent by the way, camera covers are everything. Gone are the days of homemade paper and tape contraptions because now there are stylish, durable options available for those needing a long-term solution.

Trust Makes or Breaks the Experience

Without trust, any remote relationship is going to fail. You can have a long-standing business relationship or a one-time project partnership, either way, trust needs to be part of the equation. If you don’t trust the person you’re working for, with, or who’s working for you, how do you know what’s being done is actually being done when you have no insight into it?

You Need to Really Get Up in the Morning

Rolling out of bed and over to your work computer doesn’t count. It might sound obvious, but it can be challenging when going to work means literally moving from one part of the house to another. This doesn’t mean that you need to get dolled up to begin the workday, but brushing your teeth, getting out of your pajamas, and looking similar to what you would at work is a good start and can help your focus. On top of that, visual presentation is a big part of building trust when working from home. If you’re on a Zoom call on your bed, in your pajamas, and with dried-up drool stuck on your face, whether fair or not, it doesn’t give your employer a sense of confidence in your working from home abilities.

You Work Longer and Harder at Home

The workday doesn’t necessarily fall within the 9-to-5 or previously scheduled workday. It now can encompass early mornings and late nights since work and home are now in the same location, and because of that, it’s hard to turn it off. Wanting to prove yourself working from home, you might find yourself putting in more time or working harder than you would when traveling into the office.

What have you learned from working from home? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out How to Get the Most Out of a Remote Interview.