For many, working from home is a benefit and perk. But there are still many, many employers that don’t like the idea of it. As someone who has the privilege of being able to work from home, I have heard it all. I am in a unique situation where the majority of my co-workers aren’t able to work from home. So I often get the stink eye when I inform my office that I’m working from home. Why? Because they assume that I’m sitting in my pyjamas and playing video games all day. But I’m not.
In my experience, working from home can actually be a good way to power through a project. I struggle with distractions, it seems. So having a nice quiet environment helps a great deal from this perspective. That being said, a big challenge for me is keeping track of my work and my to do list. Because I’m so mobile, I’m always trying to come up with innovative ways to keep track of my tasks. How many of you are able to work from home? What challenges do you run into? And what tools and resources do you find helpful when trying to get through your task list? That is a lot of questions, I know. Throughout the rest of this post, I am going to talk about some resources that are available to help you work from home more more efficiently.
If you are unlike me, and need to be around people while you work, you might want to try the website Workfrom. It allows you to find good places to work remotely. Specifically, it gives you information on where the best wifi spots are, and which coffee shops have the most amount of power outlets. Workfrom has data available for 1,250 cities world wide. But is this something you would use? As I mentioned, I like quiet and I do have wifi at home, so I wouldn’t necessarily want to find a place with more people!
Dropbox is a very useful tool that allows you to share files between you and your office. It’s also accessible from basically anywhere you have access to the internet. You can add files from any device. I like Dropbox because our email servers are limited to 15 MB, and I often have large training files that I need to send to people. So Dropbox comes in handy for me.
I tried Asana a few years ago, but didn’t find that it was meeting my needs. Maybe that’s changed? Asana is a project tracking tool. Project tracking is kind of a big piece of my job, which is why I really wanted to use this. But alas. That being said, it lets you set up your projects and tasks intuitively, keep track of where your time’s going, set reminders of urgent jobs, and juggle multiple commitments at once. It also lets you collaborate with others and assign tasks.
Teamviewer is another product that is used in my office. It lets the IT Department remote into my laptop in the event that I’m having trouble with something. The drawback, in my opinion, is that you need to be on the server to get assistance. Obviously. And my trouble is mostly with getting access to the server. But that is clearly a problem with my office and not the software itself. That being said, it’s still a really good tool to let you communicate with your IT team, so neither of you have to leave your desk.
- Calmly Writer
Lastly, a product that I haven’t tried, but might want to is something called Calmly Writer. It’s not a full fledged word processor, but it does give you the ability to write in a calm way. Meaning, as you start typing, all the distracting options disappear from the interface. Calmly also includes “focus mode” option, which highlights only the paragraph you are editing at the time. I can be distracted by almost anything, and my mind tends to wander so this might actually help!
There are so many tools out there, but will any of these actually help you when it comes to working from home? Are there other tools out there that would help you that aren’t listed above? When it comes to working from home, it’s all about staying connected. Your boss(es) want to make sure you’re getting work done, and you want to make sure that you keep your job! But that being said, working from home also means that you’re always “on” in a way. Some people have a hard time turning work off when the clock strikes 5. Working from home is not for the faint of heart as you have to be able to justify your work. With so many more employers allowing their employees to work from home, it’s great to see tools and technology to help you with that.