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The Successful Work-at-Home Professional

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It’s more than taking your work home – being productive and reliable as a remote worker takes knowing what works best for your situation.

Working from home: it’s a dream many workers have. With today’s technology, it’s happening at an increasing pace. According to the State of the Remote Job Marketplace report by FlexJobs, more than 3.9 million Americans are now working from home at least half the time.

And for the most part, companies are realizing a boost in productivity from their remote workforce. According to a study conducted by ConnectSolutions, 77 percent of remote workers get more done in fewer hours than their in-house coworkers.

But leaving behind the commute isn’t a guarantee of success. A work-at-home career, particularly for retiring or retired  professionals, takes as much planning – if not more so – as any in-house position might require.

Here’s how to create a successful work-at-home career:

Define your best work hours. You may be better at 6 a.m. than you are at noon, or you could be able to get a lot accomplished in just five hours a day without distractions. Choose work hours that suit your schedule.

Stick to your routine. Make work a habit, just as you did when you were commuting to an office. Get ready for work and start at your regular time.

Establish a quiet work area. If you can dedicate a space for your daily work hours, do so. If not, find that one area where you can work undisturbed and with minimal distractions.

Invest in and learn new technology. Working with outdated equipment will handicap your efforts from the outset. Upgrade where you need to, and look into what programs you may need to be most productive.

Communicate regularly with coworkers. Outside the office, communicating with coworkers becomes more important. Talk with them daily. Email communication works, but don’t be afraid to use message programs or video chats to stay in touch throughout the day with your colleagues.

Check in with your employer daily. Work with your employer to establish goals, both project-related and communication-related. Then create a daily list of things you’ve accomplished, things you’re working on, and questions you may have. Also, attend staff meetings, and let your employer know those areas where you may need additional help or guidance.

Schedule your activities. Each day before leaving your work behind, schedule your next day’s activities. If you’re working on large projects, break them up into segments and allot time to each of those segments. Your schedule is also part of the daily list you’ll send to your employer each day – sharing that schedule with your employer gives you the accountability needed to stay on task.

As a veteran professional, you can become a successful pretiree in your own work-from-home arrangement with just a little planning and attention to detail. Figuring out your own schedule and sticking to it means you can continue contributing to the your industry while enjoying the benefits of retirement.

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