3.9 million Americans now work virtually at least half of the week, and that number continues to grow. While there can be many perks in working remotely, there can also be drawbacks unless you're prepared. We've put together a list of 5 things you should know if you want to work virtually, so that you are able to enter the remote workforce and experience success, not burnout.
1. Set Business Hours & Stick to Them
When you work virtually, your home becomes your office. And while that may seem appealing to many, it can create quick burnout unless you set business hours and stick to them from the very beginning. Establishing business hours allows you to not feel tied to your computer during family time or feeling the need to open your laptop as soon as you roll out of bed.
Remember: If you were at an office, you'd be more likely to only handle work there, not at home. So treat your home office the same.
2. Create a Designated Space for Your Virtual Office
In the same way you'd have a designated office if you didn't work virtually, you should also create a specific space for one when working from home. The reason: It allows you to leave work, "at work". This is a crucial step in addition to tip #1 that will offer you freedom from burnout and overworking. Creating a designated space for your virtual office will also establish boundaries for any other family members that may be home during your working hours. They'll know that when you're in your office, you're working, and it will help you stay focused.
If you're self-employed and file a Schedule C, you can also claim the Home Office Deduction on your taxes.
3. Eliminate Distractions by Scheduling Breaks
Working virtually can lead to one of two scenarios: Either you are so focused on your work that you plow through any break time (including taking that lunch that will re-energize you for a busy afternoon of meetings), or you find yourself constantly being distracted by all the things you could be doing and wind up having to work outside of your scheduled hours to play catch up.
Set an alarm on your phone for a 15-20 minute break in both the morning and afternoon, and make sure to include an alarm for your lunch break. Develop the habit now of only scrolling through social media or answering personal emails during these windows to help you be the most productive during your "on-the-clock" working hours.
4. Maintain a Professional Appearance for Your Business
Have you considered the drawbacks to providing your home address or personal cell number to clients when working remotely? Amata's Virtual Office packages allow you to obtain a professional business address from any one of our prestigious downtown Chicago locations. You'll also enjoy the functionality of utilizing a cutting edge 3CX VoiP business phone system to maintain your privacy while working from home.
5. Enjoy the Freedoms Allowed for Those Who Work Virtually
Just because you work virtually doesn't mean you have to be sequestered to your home during working hours. Coworking facilities offer a great place for you to work when you're feeling the need for a change in scenery. They're also the perfect place to hold client meetings and provide the professional environment your clients are looking for. You can even book conference rooms or day offices as the need arises as well.
Amata is rewriting the rules when it comes to remote work. Our Virtual Office programs bring your virtual working experience to a new level of professionalism and exceptionality without breaking the bank. Choose the services that work best for you and run your business the way you want from virtually anywhere.