Most hosted travel advisors work from a home office. While having a 2-second commute and a lax dress code has it’s perks, working steps away from piles of laundry, kids, and pets creates quite a challenge. Not to mention you literally take work home with you. We’ve rounded up 10 tips for working from home to help you be smarter and more efficient.
1. Create a work space
Find a place in your home that is your dedicated work space. A defined office will get you mentally ready to work when you enter the room and sit down at your desk. Be sure to stock it with necessary supplies so you won’t be wandering around the house looking for a stapler or more printer paper. (Click here for tips for organizing your home office!)
2. Get dressed
As tempting as it may be to work in pajamas or sweats, getting dressed for the day will get you mentally ready to work. You don’t have to wear a power suit, but dress as though a client could stop by anytime during the day.
3. Define your schedule (and stick to it!)
Create a clearly defined schedule that balances work and personal life. When your office is at home, it’s easy to check up on emails and projects throughout the day and night. But for your well-being, have time in your schedule to step away and unplug.
4. Work during your peak productivity time
Working from home gives you the flexibility to create your own schedule. If you are a night owl and can focus more at 8PM, reserve that as your work time. If mornings are your thing, get up and moving when the alarm goes off.
5. Have a back-up work spot (or 2)
Sometimes the house is just too distracting. Even if you can’t see the laundry pile, knowing its around the corner can keep you from being productive. Have a back-up spot for the time when you just need to get away. A nearby library or coffee shop can do the trick!
6. Keep work and personal life separate
With your office just a few steps away from the rest of the house, it’s easy to blur the lines between work duties and home duties. Things like sticking to a schedule (#3) and maintaining separate work and personal email addresses will keep you focused on your work while you’re at work.
7. Stay Connected with your Team
When you’re a home-based travel advisor in a host agency, be sure to stay connected with your coworkers. Contribute to the online forum, participate in webinars, schedule brainstorming sessions, and so on. New ideas from your colleagues will keep you refreshed and having a strong support system will help you and your clients.
8. Take a Break
At an office, you can chat with coworkers or walk around the office. Just because you’re at home by yourself doesn’t mean you don’t get breaks. Walk the dog around the block in the afternoon, or relocate to a new spot if you need a change of scenery (see #5).
9. Have a Tech Backup Plan
Technology issues are inevitable, and it’s important to have a back-up plan. If your host agency doesn’t offer tech support, make friends with someone at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store or a local computer company. Going offline for hours—or days—will not only cause you to fall behind but also add unnecessary stress.
10. Plan face time with coworkers
Plan lunches with coworkers. If you live close to the office, stop by during events or meetings. The change of scenery and seeing coworkers in person can be reenergizing and make you feel camaraderie with the team. No coworkers nearby? Block out your schedule so that you can attend company-wide gatherings or visit the main office during the year.