The Biggest Battles of Working from Home
Long gone are the days when you had to slog into the office for 9am every morning. These days almost anyone can work remotely from the comfort of their own home, and, at Take Note, our transcribers work diligently from their homes every single day. However, it’s not all late morning lie-ins and lunch in the garden; as with anything in life, working from home comes with its own downsides. Let’s tackle a few of them!
How to stay focused on your work and avoid the allure of binge-watching Netflix
Structure your day
It can be very easy to start the day thinking, ‘I’ve only got three hours of work to do, I’ll do it later,’ only for later to come and go without you having done any work, so it’s important to have a set plan for your day that you can stick to. At Take Note, this is easy to do because of the wonderful shift system we have which allows our transcribers to work whatever time they want and on whatever day they want. If I’m working the 10:00 to 16:00 shift, I start work by 10:00 (if not earlier) and, once I’m finished, know I still have the rest of the day to catch up on Riverdale. It’s perfect!
How to ignore those pesky distractions and stay productive
Have a designated workplace: no toys allowed
This can be a particularly difficult part of working from home, not least because the majority of telecommuters require the internet to work. And as we all know, the internet is the ultimate playground for procrastination, so you have to be strict with yourself. When it’s time to start work, close down Twitter, Facebook, and all those other pages in your browser that aren’t work-related, turn your phone to silent (or remove your phone from the room altogether), and keep it that way. I find it useful to ask myself this: would that be there if I was working in an office? If the answer is no, then get rid of it.
How to remain a part of the team when you don’t work in the office
Three words: communication, communication, communication.
Isolation is one of the biggest challenges of working remotely; if you never see any of your colleagues, then how can you feel part of the team? Thankfully, we live in the era of constant communication, and whether it’s emails, Slack messages, or even good old-fashioned telephone calls, it’s never been easier to stay in the loop. In fact, most people find it harder to disconnect from the world rather than the other way around! As a transcriber at Take Note, I can personally testify to how well this company in particular ensures that no one feels isolated; I doubt many workplaces can say they have their own cook book, but Take Note do, full of submissions from our entire workforce! It’s deliciously wonderful, and is just one example of how a remote workforce can feel anything but Remote.
How to deal with a crisis when you can’t just stand up at your desk and yell
Help is just a button-click away
This is the really big one, isn’t it? Working remotely can seem great until something goes wrong, and then it’s panic stations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When companies are properly set up for remote employees, there are no stations of panic (and I say that as someone who lives most of her life at Station ‘OMG the world is going to end’)! I’ve been transcribing for Take Note for over a year now and have never once reached meltdown, because the system has been so thoughtfully set up that it covers all instances of things going wrong. If I have an issue, I send an email. If I have a bigger issue, I hit up live chat. And if I have a major ‘stand up at your desk and yell’ issue, I hit the big red button. No, seriously, we have a big red button. It is this level of constant connectivity with HQ that ensures Take Note remains a stress-free environment, and that’s really the environment you want to be in if you’re working from home.