This is a video from a Udemy course I created a few years ago to help people maximize their efficiency while working from remotely or from home. Instead of selling it as a paid course, I’m sharing the content here, for free. I hope you find it helpful. -Ron Stauffer
Working from home might sound fun or simple, especially to an employer, but let me promise you working from home is much, much harder than it sounds in order to work from home successfully, you have to acquire new skills that you may not have ever needed when you went to an office, if you ever did.
Here’s a quick example. If you’re a really good welder and you went to welding school and you’re great at welding things, you might be the best welder you could be, but that does not mean you’re a good teacher of welding to other people who want to learn it. In fact, you could be a fantastic welder, but have dismal teaching skills.
Teaching skills are very different than welding skills. People confuse these sometimes just because you’re good at your craft doesn’t mean you’re good at explaining your craft to other people. I find the same is true with working from home. If you’re the type of person who’s worked on a team with coworkers, either in a cubicle or an office or a pod or whatever arrangement.
Where you had a core group of people who could visually contact each other and there’s laughter and comradery, and you feel like you’re on the same team and you’re contributing and you go out and have lunch together. That may be great. But translating that into working from home is going to be difficult by the very fact that you can’t just walk to your manager’s office and open the door.
As you go to the water cooler or refill your coffee cup, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult. Communication’s going to be asynchronous. It’s going to take a little bit longer to get some things done. Having everybody communicating at the same time and working on the same thing can be a little bit more difficult.
My point is that working from home is not just as simple as doing the work you do at the office. In your house, it’s a different skillset. It’s going to take some time to learn. In fact, there’s a transitional period where if you’re working from home and you haven’t experienced this yet, you will, at some point, the transition can be fairly difficult, not just for you, but for your teammates, your coworkers, or your clients.
If you’re experiencing a shift in the way that you do work from the office to home, there will be some awkward bumps along the path. Also, it’s not just going to be awkward for you. It can be awkward for your family. If you have a spouse or kids or people who live at home with you. It’s going to be awkward for them too.
It’s going to take them some time to get used to the new normal and understanding how to live in a house where somebody is also working in that house, especially if that had never happened before. It’s going to take time for you to develop a system that works for you, and you’ll have to continually work at it.
I’ve been working from home on and off for 15 years, and I still make mistakes and still struggle with some really, really basic concepts. So don’t get frustrated. It takes time and you have to continually work at it and that’s normal.
Ron Stauffer is a solopreneur and freelancer with over 14 years of experience running a small company. He’s extremely familiar with the loneliness, frustration, and challenges unique to freelance work and running a business of one. He started Free Soloing to help other people just like him.