About two and a half months ago, I started working remotely for my job. At first, I was pretty nervous about being able to stay on task and focused. What I found was that I was more focused at home than I ever was working in an office.
I spent the first nine years of my working career in an office which many people my own age doing everything from moderating a children’s game to answering tech support calls (the job I am currently doing). I don’t think that I would have been able to do that moderation job from home but this tech support job, that’s some that you can do from home as long as you don’t need to test out the products yourself. Thankfully, we have a good escalation system that means that all I have to do is report it and from there it gets tested and fixed.
Recently, there’s been a major shift in customer support jobs from being in those large, overcrowded offices to a more remote based structure. In less than three years, my own team has gone from being 100% all in the office to most of the team working out of the office from the privacy from their own homes.
I am not going to lie, there are challenges to working from home but here are a few tips for those of you just starting your remote based jobs in tech support:
- Set up a workflow for yourself. Even if your management has set up a workflow for you, be sure to make your own and have it align with what the team’s needs are. I set my own “To Do” checklist of things that I need to keep on top of.
- Keep distractions to a minimum. For me, that means that if my pets become disruptive, to make sure they are out of the office.
- Messy Bed = Messy head – meaning, make sure you keep your space clean and tidy. If this means making your bed when you get up, do it.
- Remember to drink water and take your scheduled breaks on time!
- Turn off your personal phone and messengers – they can be super distracting.
- Block off your working hours on your calendar and don’t work outside of them. In the same way that you leave work at the office, don’t go checking your work emails outside of your established working hours.
- Keep in touch with your teammates using an office established chat like Lync or Slack. If you have a busy office chat, you need to stay on top of the messages or else you might miss an important communication.
- Dress comfortably. While you don’t need to be in full office gear, you should still have clean clothes on, this is mostly for your mental health. I work at 6am in the morning and I am often in my clean PJs until my first break about 9am and then I get dress into my everyday clothes.
- Keep your office equipment in the best working order that you. Clean your keyboard and mouse. Make sure your computer is always up to date.
- Take sick time when you need it. It’s easy to just keep on working when you are feeling under the weather when you are at home working but if you’re not careful, you can get even sicker just for the day to day stresses of your job. If your job has paid sick days, take them whenever possible to prevent yourself from getting even sicker.
I am really enjoying working from home and the freedom gives me. You have to be responsible in order to make working from home successful. If I had not built up the discipline that I have from being in an office that last nine years, I don’t know if I would have been able to make this work. Now that I am established with a home office, I can make some big changes in my life, which include returning to university and finishing my archaeology degree so that I can pursue a career in forensic archeology.