It’s the holiday season, which means one of two things: you’re either visiting family, or family is visiting you. And we know that explaining to your in-laws what “working remotely” means is only a fraction of the frustration that can come along with this.
Yeah, once you get down to carving turkeys and imbibing some holiday bubbly, it’ll all be good and merry. But up until then, your work can seriously suffer. So that’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to surviving the holidays while working remotely.
Mark Your Territory.
Make it known to any and all guests that your home office is just that, your office. Whether it’s your dining room table or an actual dedicated home office space, let your guests know that spot is where you do work. It’s not for chitchat and it’s not for catching up; it’s where you’ll be planted for the majority of the day, taking calls and taking care of business, literally.
Stake Out an Office-Away-from-Home.
If you’re traveling out of town and staying with family or friends, you can’t exactly claim the living room as your office. Trust us, it’s just rude. But, good ol’ technology has all you out-of-towners covered. Workfrom is a God-send for any remote worker. The website (also available as an app on Android and iPhone) is a bit like Yelp, but for work spaces. The app will show you spots immediately nearby that are perfect for the work nomad, and filters results by everything from WiFi reliability and outlets available to noise levels and food availability.
Set a Schedule.
If you haven’t already gotten into the habit of jotting down a to-do list and scheduling out your days as a remote worker, get into that habit now. Because it’s especially important during the hectic holiday times. Write down each task you need to perform that day, whether it be conference calls or simply answering specific emails. Then make it into a solid schedule. Make a second copy of the schedule and place it somewhere for guests to see—perhaps the fridge or coffee table. For times when you have conference calls or video chats with clients/co-workers, let your guests know you’d appreciate a greater level of privacy and quietness.
Listen to Calming Music.
During holiday visits—whether it’s you doing the visiting or the hosting—things can get pretty hectic. There may be kids off from school running around, decorations going up around you, and who known what else. That’s why it helps to transport yourself somewhere else. A nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones and a calming soundtrack can help you stay on the path to productivity.