June 3, 2016
Since I work from home and telecommute I thought it’d be a good idea to share my expert tips on the topic (just kidding, I’ve only been working remotely for four weeks). Like many agencies, Hanapin employees have the opportunity to work from home on various weekdays. Furthermore, Hanapin employs PPC Account Managers with previous experience who live outside of Bloomington, Indiana.
When I found out I was relocating I was nervous to leave the Hanapin office and work from home full time because we have such a great company culture. Prior to my transition to my home office, I spoke with the true experts at Hanapin who have been working from home for years. In this post, I’ll share my favorite tips they offered as well as my own thoughts since I have a fresh perspective on transitioning from an office to a remote work environment.
Changes In Time Management
Transitioning to a remote work environment can definitely alter your work style and productivity levels. When you no longer have coworkers or free donut emails to distract you, it’s easy to forget to take a breather every once in awhile. Some of us at Hanapin like to use The Pomodoro Technique.
The simplest way to use Pomodoro is to use an app or timer that alerts you when you’ve been working on a certain task or project for 25 to 30 minutes. After the timer goes off, you give yourself a short break and then go back to the task or project for another 25 to 30 minutes. This has become especially helpful for me now that I work from home because the timer reminds me to get up from my computer for a few minutes.
I also recommend trying out The Pomodoro Technique if you are struggling to stay productive throughout the workday either at home or in the office. We all know how effective it can be to put your phone on do not disturb and close out of your email for a chunk of time. If this technique seems too restrictive, start by using this method during a slower period or after a long client call when it’s difficult to move on to a new task.
The most drastic change for me transitioning to full-time remote work has been the lack of human interaction during the workday. One of my favorite things about working for Hanapin has always been the fun culture and the fact that my coworkers are truly my friends.
In the last few weeks, I have realized how important it is to pick up the phone and talk to coworkers or clients rather than communicating via chat or email. Otherwise, you’ll end up feeling like Eric Carmen in 1975. Some Hanapin remote workers occasionally use shared working spaces to use amenities the spaces have to offer as well as get to know others in their communities who work from home.
At Hanapin, we have RWE (Remote Work Environment) Week 3 to 4 times per year when all full-time remote employees visit the Bloomington offices. Besides this week being a great time for face-to-face meetings in the office, it’s also a crucial time for remote workers to socialize with in-office employees. We also use video during company-wide meetings so remote workers can see everyone in the office and feel more connected.
Loving Your Workspace
Almost every article you read about working from home will touch on the importance of having a dedicated workspace. While I understand having a separate room for work time is crucial, I think we should take it a step further. Actually spending the time to create and maintain an organized, comfortable home office has helped me enjoy working remotely.
Fortunately, the Hanapin offices are open and bright sans cubicles and motivational posters. I was comfortable in my office environment so I knew I’d need to spend a little extra time and cash on my home office. Hanapin also helps remote workers make sure we have all the office supplies we would have if we were working in the office and more. For example, a second monitor is a must along with headsets for client calls and internal meetings.
In the end, working from home is what you make it. If you’re transitioning to a position where you’ll be working remotely or are considering applying for remote jobs, just keep in mind that many people are doing the same. If you have any techniques for increasing productivity, staying connected with your team or other tips for working from home feel free to tweet us.