GBS Presents Devin S. Olson GBS Home Alone Tips for success for the Naked Warrior
Home Alone Do you regularly work from a home office or some place other than your corporate headquarters? Do you spend a l...
Home Alone Be Prepared Things to plan for  BEFORE  you decide to  get naked  work from home.
Home Alone Emotional Understand that working from home is a completely different thing than working from an office.  The s...
Home Alone Physical Internet and Phone.  Good connectivity is CRITICAL.  High speed is nice, but high availability is much...
Home Alone Get off the Couch and Get an Office! Working in the same place / space you relax or live in is ok for college, ...
Home Alone Dress for Success Don't go to work in your underwear / pajamas.  This is slovenly, lazy, and unprofessional beh...
Home Alone Communication, Communication, Communication! The NUMBER ONE problem reported by employers when asked about thei...
Home Alone Communication, Communication, Communication! Set a Schedule, and Set some Boundaries You need to set regular wo...
Your family / friends need to know when you will be "at work", and when you will be "at home".  This n...
Home Alone Get Good Equipment When a normal office worker experiences an equipment failure (computer dying, desk drawer ja...
Home Alone Your Admin is Your Life Line As a remote worker you will find yourself out of necessity having to handle almost...
Home Alone Set a Schedule Go to WORK When you are at work, be at work.  This may seem obvious, but many remote works allow...
Home Alone Talk to Your Boss Your boss / supervisor / whatever has certain expectations of you, and you need to ensure tha...
Home Alone Travel Tips for Emotional Success
Home Alone Travel Light When packing for a business trip, ask yourself if you really need  every single  item you pack.  W...
Home Alone Check Your Bags Limit your carry on items to two categories:  <ul><li>That which you absolutely need  on the fl...
That which  cannot be replaced , or  cannot be lost  (such as your laptop). </li></ul>Check  everything  else.  Don't be &...
Home Alone Unpack and Iron your Clothes When you check into your hotel and get to your room take the time to fully unpack ...
Home Alone Exercise Daily Force yourself to get up early and perform some kind of physical exercise.  The  specific kind  ...
Home Alone Have Some Perspective Sometimes a project or task can seem insurmountable and requires Herculean efforts to acc...
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Home Alone - Tips for the Remote Worker

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Do you regularly work from a home office or some place other than your corporate headquarters? Do you spend a lot of time at client's locations, on the road, or working from hotels? If any of these are true, then congratulations, you are a NAKED WARRIOR.

Devin Olson will help you become a master of NAKED-FU; the ability to succeed with little or no support, communication, or resources from your corporate office. You will learn tips and techniques gleaned from years experience working from both home and on the road. Using these tips and technologies will help you attain NAKED-ZEN; success and peace of mind with your work and your life.

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  • Great Power Point. Here's another good reference on managing worker safety at remote worksites - http://www.safetyawakenings.com/managing-safety-at-numerous-small-remote-locations/
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  • Home Alone - Tips for the Remote Worker

    1. 1. GBS Presents Devin S. Olson GBS Home Alone Tips for success for the Naked Warrior
    2. 2. Home Alone Do you regularly work from a home office or some place other than your corporate headquarters? Do you spend a lot of time at clients' sites, on the road, or working from hotels? If you answer yes to either one of these, then you are a Naked Warrior Remote Worker.
    3. 3. Home Alone Be Prepared Things to plan for BEFORE you decide to get naked work from home.
    4. 4. Home Alone Emotional Understand that working from home is a completely different thing than working from an office. The sense of freedom can be wonderful and lead to incredible productivity -but the sense of disconnection and loss can be overwhelming and lead to stagnation. Knowing up front that you are going to be dealing with some very powerful emotions which will effect your work will help you to better deal with them.
    5. 5. Home Alone Physical Internet and Phone. Good connectivity is CRITICAL. High speed is nice, but high availability is much more important. Downtime will destroy you. DSL? Cable? Satellite? Computer? Phone? Cell? Printer? Fax? Pens & Pencils? Notepads? Toner? Paper? Stamps? File Folders? Who is providing these items? How are they supplied/stocked? Who is paying for them? Plan this out in advance.
    6. 6. Home Alone Get off the Couch and Get an Office! Working in the same place / space you relax or live in is ok for college, but once you step into the real world you need to separate the two. Setting aside a &quot;work area&quot; that you enter and mentally &quot;go to work&quot; is all well and fine for a very short term; but when that work area shares the same physical room as a &quot;play&quot;, &quot;eat&quot;, or &quot;sleep&quot; area the boundaries will start to blur. Long term success demands a private work area. You need a room, with door that closes. Some employers / insurance policies might even require a door that locks. This room doesn't have to be big, but it does have to be a single purpose place: it is your office , it is the place you make a living. Don't relegate your career to corner of the kitchen, or an alcove off the family room. This is the place you can go to work, be free of distractions, and accomplish great things. Of all the tips here, this one is the absolute most critical for long term success. Every other tip is just a tip; this one is LAW
    7. 7. Home Alone Dress for Success Don't go to work in your underwear / pajamas. This is slovenly, lazy, and unprofessional behavior. Treat your home office with the same respect you would treat a normal office. When you go to work, do so after having showered, shaved, and dressed appropriately. The difference in your productivity from just putting on a dress shirt and slacks vs. jeans and a t-shirt will amaze you .
    8. 8. Home Alone Communication, Communication, Communication! The NUMBER ONE problem reported by employers when asked about their home office or telecommuting employees is lack of communication -regardless of industry. Supervisors and Coworkers MUST be kept informed about what is going on with you. Whether you use email, IM software, telephone, teleconference, semaphore or smoke signals (or any combination thereof) is up to you -but you MUST keep them up to date. The NUMBER ONE problem reported by home office, telecommuting, or traveling employees, when asked about their employers is lack of communication -regardless of industry. &quot;Out of Site, Out of Mind&quot; is a frustrating, but true, reality. When you are not part of the &quot;Office Space&quot; you can very easily be forgotten about. This is not fair, but it is nevertheless true. The difficulty here is that the onus is on you . YOU must make a habit of regular &quot;check in&quot; communications with your team in order - minimally once a day. These communications can take the form of status meetings, calls, technical questions, or even nothing more than a &quot;good morning -whazzup&quot; IM ping. The point here is to provide a daily reminder to the members of your team that you exist. The NUMBER ONE problem reported by businesses regarding their relationships with vendors / service providers / consultants is lack of communication -regardless of industry. Again, the onus here is on you. YOU must let your customers know what is going on regularly -even if it is nothing more than a &quot;hey there, just wanted to let you know I'm still working on your stuff&quot; call. This doesn't have to be daily, but you should never go more than three business days without a check in, period. Your customer is paying for your expertise and professionalism, and a critically important part of that is communication.
    9. 9. Home Alone Communication, Communication, Communication! Set a Schedule, and Set some Boundaries You need to set regular work hours, and stick to them. The reason for this is twofold: <ul><li>Your customers / co-workers need to know when they can reasonably expect to contact you. Providing them with a schedule of your work hours gives them this. This doesn't mean that you should never work outside of these hours -but those times should be the exception, not the rule. This echoes the need for communication and professionalism.
    10. 10. Your family / friends need to know when you will be &quot;at work&quot;, and when you will be &quot;at home&quot;. This not only helps them and you emotionally -but it also lets them know that when you are &quot;at work&quot; you should not be interrupted (within reason). Your friends and family may not understand the demands working from home places on you -you must be clear and firm on this -or it will wipe you out emotionally. Setting specialized hours is NOT unreasonable (such as having a daily extended time to pick up the kids from school, run to the bank, do a load of laundry etc) -provided that all concerned are aware of these specialized hours. Again, this falls back on communication. </li></ul>Are you beginning to sense a pattern here?
    11. 11. Home Alone Get Good Equipment When a normal office worker experiences an equipment failure (computer dying, desk drawer jamming, network outage, printer failure, etc.) there is usually somebody they can call for immediate help. A well skilled administrator / engineer / etc. can usually correct a problem in under an hour. As a remote worker you simply do not have that luxury. Replacements / repairs can take several days to complete, and this is time you cannot ever get back. More to the point, most businesses consider more than just price when making an equipment purchase -and so should you. Buying cheap equipment is a temptation to be avoided. Always get the very best equipment you can possibly afford. This includes the obvious things like laptops, routers, printers, etc. It also includes not so obvious things like desks, and chairs. For example, a cheap office chair can be purchased for around $80 -and it will look and feel great for about a year. Then you will find yourself needing a replacement -another $80. Every year you will have to replace this chair. However, a decent mid-range office chair will run you around $300 -which seems like a lot. However, a chair like this will easily last 5 - 6 years.
    12. 12. Home Alone Your Admin is Your Life Line As a remote worker you will find yourself out of necessity having to handle almost all of your regular administrative tasks. But the time will come when you cannot accomplish something without help from the home office administrator. This person can save you from ruin -foster a good relationship with your administrator before a crisis occurs. Keep them informed of your set up, and how you do things on a regular basis. Then when a problem arises they not only know who you are, but can be somewhat prepared to help you out. Nothing frustrates support personnel more than the last minute emergency thing (whatever that thing happens to be) that completely blindsides them. You can mitigate this frustration through nothing more than regular communication.
    13. 13. Home Alone Set a Schedule Go to WORK When you are at work, be at work. This may seem obvious, but many remote works allow themselves to become distracted with household things. These distractions are time-vampires, and can very quickly suck up most or even all of your workday. Close the office door, limit distractions, and do your work. Go to LUNCH Working all day at home, and then being at home at night can make you feel &quot;stir-crazy&quot;. There are very sound physiological reasons for this: We all need activity and some change of scenery to function at our very best. Take a lunch break -you don't necessarily have to go to a restaurant, but you do need to get up, leave the office for a bit, and mentally recharge. Don't eat at your desk, you will get fat, get food in your keyboard, and (most importantly) slowly degrade the &quot;this is work and not home&quot; mindset you need to be successful. Make a sandwich or soup or whatever you need, take a stroll around the block, or just go sit on the porch for a bit. The point is to step out of the office for at least a little while and allow yourself to relax. Try to avoid watching TV -this can also become a time vampire. Go HOME When the end of the workday comes, get up and leave the office. It will be there in the morning. Don't take your work &quot;home&quot; with you. This also can break down the &quot;office vs. work&quot; barrier. Sometimes you will have deadlines / project completions / etc. that require a bit of your extra time, but as stated previously these should be the exception and not the rule.
    14. 14. Home Alone Talk to Your Boss Your boss / supervisor / whatever has certain expectations of you, and you need to ensure that you are meeting (and hopefully exceeding) them. You cannot do this without regularly talking with them -this is not the place for emails or IM. Human communication relies on a rich set of tonal qualities. You must speak with (or even better -video conference) with your boss often to ensure that they, and you, know what the heck is going on. Don't make this just a status report -have a conversation. Discuss goals, completions, successes and failures (especially failures) that you have had. Talk about things other than work: family, politics, sports, religion, whatever. The amount of information you share and glean from these conversations has a direct impact on your success as a remote worker.
    15. 15. Home Alone Travel Tips for Emotional Success
    16. 16. Home Alone Travel Light When packing for a business trip, ask yourself if you really need every single item you pack. While there is some validity to the old “it is better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it” argument for packing, that logic begins to fail as the number of things increases. If you don't impose limits on what you bring, you will soon find yourself so overloaded with crap you don't need that your productivity and efficiency both begin to decrease. This holds true not only for physical items, but emotional items as well. Fretting about things you can do nothing about while away on business is both pointless and destructive. Learn to let go.
    17. 17. Home Alone Check Your Bags Limit your carry on items to two categories: <ul><li>That which you absolutely need on the flight.
    18. 18. That which cannot be replaced , or cannot be lost (such as your laptop). </li></ul>Check everything else. Don't be &quot;that guy&quot; with an overnight bag and a laptop bag. Yes, you are allowed to take both on the aircraft, but that which you can do isn't always what you should do. Checking you bags might be a hassle and take a bit more time, but it forces you to plan ahead, arrive early, and suffer less emotional stress on the trip. You will find yourself not nearly as exhausted and drained after a flight and will be better able to succeed once you arrive.
    19. 19. Home Alone Unpack and Iron your Clothes When you check into your hotel and get to your room take the time to fully unpack and iron you clothes before you do anything else. This simple act will help you relax, and give you time to relax, think and plan for the following day(s). Having a closet containing freshly pressed clothing is a zen kind of thing. Showing up to a customer's office in wrinkled clothing tells the customer that they aren't important enough for you to look your very best. When you are dressed well you &quot;feel it&quot;, and you therefore perform well.
    20. 20. Home Alone Exercise Daily Force yourself to get up early and perform some kind of physical exercise. The specific kind of exercise (30 minutes on a lifecycle, a quick swim, a morning run, calisthenics in your room, etc) is not nearly as important as the fact that you are doing something physical. Living and working out of a hotel room is mentally and physically exhausting. You need to take extra care of yourself, over and above that which you would do at home. This simple act will help you become emotionally and physically ready to take on the day.
    21. 21. Home Alone Have Some Perspective Sometimes a project or task can seem insurmountable and requires Herculean efforts to accomplish. Don't let it destroy you. The occasional drive to the finish is acceptable, but do not allow this to become your normal mode of operation. Little stresses, left unresolved, will slowly compound over time and you will suddenly find yourself completely overwhelmed. When this happens (and it will happen if you don't correct it early on) very bad things occur. Relax and remember what is truly important in life.
    22. 22. Home Alone Work is Work, Life is Life Many remote workers suffer premature burn out because they allow their work to overwhelm and control their lives. You work for a living, hopefully doing something you love. If you find yourself doing something you hate just to earn an income you will never be successful or truly happy. Love your work, but love your life more!
    23. 23. For more... Contact Me Devin S. Olson GBS - http://www.gbs.com [email_address] blog: http://www.devinolson.net

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