Virtual Office Disciplines: It’s not as easy as you think!

Coach Dan teaches you to manage work in a virtual office. He gives tips on productivity, how to work with others in a virtual environment and teaches you when to call it a day. 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, YES you can work from anywhere. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Heck, last year I took a vacation in the mountains (It’s true, I really did) but  I didn’t want to get too far from a couple of my business coaching clients and their needs, so, I brought my materials with me and held great coaching sessions while sitting in a lounger under a magnificent pine tree.

I love working from home. I get up and go through my usual morning routine, get a cup of coffee, kiss my wife and tell her I’m going to work. Then walk upstairs to my desk and …go to work. No problem! However, not everyone is cut out for this. The disciplined and diligent person working in an office many times becomes very un-disciplined and non-diligent when left alone and working from home.  Did I mention that it takes loads of personal discipline to work from a virtual office?

Working from a virtual office can be a great situation. Think about it, no more traffic; no more interruptions by the time vampires; you’ll get more done in less time usually and there will be some tax deductions to boot. The key is to set up your systems early and stick to them. So let’s keep it simple and follow the basic rules to start with;

  1. As fast as you can set up a work environment for yourself to work from!
    1. This should be an area free from distractions
    2. Protected from interruptions
    3. And, with the feel of a workplace versus a card table in a closet or a small desk in the laundry room.
  2. Whether you work for a company or you work for yourself, get the technology you need to do good work. Make the investment that you need to make in order to feel comfortable and be efficient! Things like a quality laptop; a separate phone line; a quality printer; a high speed internet connection, but…
  3. Don’t settle for basic. Fight for your right to be productive. If you’re going to do this alone and on your own do everything you can to create as close to an office environment as you can. How you feel at your “virtual” office will greatly impact your productivity and is a key element to a successful transition.
  4. Set a plan for every day! Prioritize your most important tasks and focus your work until all the high priority tasks are complete.
  5. Stay focused. It’s NOT OK to check Facebook or watch Sports Center all day. You can’t do that in an business office setting why should you allow yourself to do it at your virtual office?
  6. Once your goals for the day are defined and you know what tasks to accomplish, collaboration in a virtual world is pretty simple and straightforward. Tools like Google Hangouts and Skype enable us to see each other, share desktops, edit content and share ideas in ways that we could never imagine a few years ago. And, most of these applications are virtually free and are designed to enhance your productivity.
  7. Set a time to stop work every day. It’s easy to actually get into the habit of working more…and that’s not the idea.

If you’re working from home you must understand that if you’re an employee, your employer has put a great amount of trust in you. If you’re a business owner, working from home, can be a benefit or it can put you out of business. Remember, the greatest disservice you can do to your employer or yourself is to misuse this opportunity to work in a virtual environment.  Without a very strict work mindset and discipline you’ll soon be missing deadlines and build a reputation for sloppy work.  You have the opportunity to create your own workplace and take more control you’re your life, so if you get the chance, do it right and don’t blow it!

If you need some help or advice, write or give me a call. This is what I do and I’m open for business.

Be Great!

Coach Dan.


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