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5 Tips for Working in a Virtual Office

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Working virtually is not only cost-effective to employers (who save money on office space and utilities) but also to employees. With rising gas costs, this virtual employee is grateful to have an office in her home!

According to Reuters.com, about one in five workers around the world telecommute and CBS News notes that 20 percent of all employees do some if not all of their projects at home.

Working virtually isn’t for everyone, but if you are one of the 20 percent who spends some or all of your work week in a home office, here are some tips for you!

1. One of the top ways to help yourself is to keep a space dedicated to work to help you focus. I am lucky enough to have a spare bedroom for my office where I can close the door when the work day is done. Don’t have a spare room? Use a corner of your living room OR get creative and turn a closet into an office.

2. Don’t Isolate Yourself. “Encourage community via Skype, GChat, and Facebook Groups. Interact like you are in the office,” says Lauren Berger, CEO of Intern Queen. “Go out of your way to form relationships with co-workers and don’t hold yourself back from communicating. A virtual office doesn’t need to be an isolated one.”

3. Organize your time to eliminate burn out. According to Rachel Doyle, Founder and President of GlamourGals,“A virtual office can mean logging lots of hours seated in front of a computer. Manage your time with thirty minute calls, which have clear agendas.” Phone calls not only help you to communicate with others, but also to break up your day into small, manageable tasks.

4. Dress to Impress. Though you may be more comfortable in your Yoga Pants and snuggly slippers, get “ready” each morning. Part of feeling like you are in an office is presenting yourself that way. Though we all have off days where nothing makes more sense than staying in our pj’s, you are more likely to be productive and focused if you look your best!

5. Stay organized and keep a notebook and calendar handy at all times. “Prioritize your time with a clear to-do list and reference it each morning,” notes Rachel Doyle. “This list will give you an idea of what items need to be done today and what can happen later that week. Before you know it, your work day will fly by.”

Remember that working from home is still working and it’s not always a great idea for people that aren’t able to stay focused or that have distractions in their house. However, for many of us, it’s a great option to earn a living!

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