Working from home during the holidays? Are you travelling this season to be with family and still need to finish some work back at the office? Here are some helpful tips to find the right balance so you can get the job done and spend quality time with family and friends this holiday season.
Tip 1: Make sure you have the logistics of working remotely figured out and tested ahead of time. It’s easy to pack up your tablet or laptop computer and head out to telework, but are you really prepared? How are you accessing company resources? Do you have the right permissions to all the files and programs you need to get the job done? Do you have a reliable internet connection? Head over to your nearest coffee shop to do a test run of your connections while enjoying a candy cane latte.
Tip 2: To be productive, find a dedicated space to work. There are many added distractions during the holidays and if you don’t separate yourself from them, you will get very little accomplished. You may end up spending twice as much time trying to get your work done as you try to accommodate your work tasks and family business at the same time. In the end both will suffer from lack of dedicated attention. Remove yourself to a private location and focus on what needs to get done - keep them separate.
Tip 3: Make sure you communicate back to the office. This may sound like a no brainer, but while you are remote you can easily become “out of sight, out of mind”. If your co-workers or supervisor are out of the loop you can quickly become disconnected. Keep everyone up to date on where you are at with your projects and looming deadlines. It’s also great to make sure you are on the right path so you don’t waste your holiday time on tasks that aren’t important.
Tip 4: Pace yourself. Don’t try to get everything done right away, or leave it to the last minute. Try and distribute your work time while teleworking to get the best results. If you have scheduled family gatherings or impromptu snowball fights happening in the back yard, participate! Plan your work activities around your family, friends or other activities. Christmas only happens once a year and you don’t want to miss out on great memories. Work while the kids are sleeping or while everyone is having their post turkey feast nap.
Tip 5: Make sure you have a plan. Snowball fights aside, you need to have a schedule and a plan to make sure you stay on task and get the work done. Find the right balance in your scheduling to accommodate work, rest and play. If you don’t schedule the time, it can be too easy to put it off and your work will pile up towards your deadline. Inform your family and friends of your schedule and let them know when you are not working, they have your undivided attention.
Tip 6: It is also very important to take the necessary security precautions while remotely connecting back to the office. You don’t want your remote session to be a potential open door to sensitive corporate information and assets. Never use un-trusted or public Wi-Fi, use a secure 3g, 4g or wired connection instead. Always lock your device while unattended. Enable two-factor authentication and single sign-on to access points that support it. Do not share passwords over email or write them down on the back of your aunt May’s famous gingerbread recipe, use a password manager. And if you are staying with family, do not use your 13 year old nephew’s computer that doubles as a Minecraft server to do your work on.
We hope that these helpful tips will take the guesswork out of teleworking for you. Remember, the goal is to find the right balance so you can work smarter and get the most out of this holiday season.
Join us in our Google+ Hangout today @ 3pm PDT where we will be discussing "Teleworking during the Holidays". We will sit down and have a candid chat with some of our customers about their thoughts on allowing staff to telework over the holidays and how this can be a real business opportunity in the coming weeks.