Two years ago, I made the decision to move from Client Service to Internal Finance with my public accounting firm. I did not know what it would be like or how I would feel going from being client facing everyday to working from home 100%, but now I can say it was one of the best decisions I could have made.
I started working in one of the Big 4 Public Accounting firms straight out of college back in 2011. I was originally an Auditor then moved to an Advising/Consulting type role. I spent six years in that world before I started to do some self reflecting. For me, I knew the line of work I currently was serving was not what I saw myself doing long term. I knew a family would come, and I would want to be home more often or at least have the flexibility when needed to be close. I also knew that I did not want to leave my firm to find the next move for me. I love my firm and the benefits are amazing (I had 24 weeks off paid for maternity leave…where they do that at?! My firm! lol) . So, I began doing research and speaking with colleagues I knew that had made the switch. After about 2 months of interviews, I got an offer to be a Lead Financial Analyst and instead of serving clients for the firm, the firm was my only client.
The big perk to obtaining this role was I get to work from home. Literally, I wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on lounge clothes, and go upstairs to my home office.
Being at home, it is very easy to get distracted and lower productivity. You have the kitchen for easy access to food and snacks, the tv and phone within arms reach, and being a mother, my child is here as well. My mother in law keeps my son at home so usually I am in the office upstairs, and they are in daycare downstairs. Working from home is a blessing in so many ways, but I would be lying if I said it did not distract me at times as well.
Here are some ways I keep myself on task:
- Limit phone usage
- It is so easy to pick up your phone in between calls and roam apps and messages. I have learned to put my phones face down and even to put them on Do Not Disturb at times depending on what I am working on.
- Work in a closed off area
- I am fortunate to have a room that I consider my office, but if you don’t, going in a room with a door helps. You can close the door when you need to focus and open it if you are working on less strenuous things.
- Limit TV
- Our office is also a guest room (daybed) as needed, so there is a Smart TV. I like to have some kind of noise in the background when I am working, so I normally have Hulu going with Living Single or some movie/tv show that I have seen before. I also sometimes listen to music while I work. When I worked in an office, I needed noise from the team or atmosphere, so if you are newly working from home (Corona Virus has everyone home these days) this may help.
- Use Headphones
- Headphones are tried and true. You can tune things and people out from home, a coffee shop, or doctor’s office. Also, when I have calls for work, I prefer to use headphones so that I can give the caller or audience my undivided attention. It is so easy to miss something on a call cause you did not limit outside noises/distractions
With Corona Virus having employers push for work from home options, I hope this helps you remain productive while you adapt to your new working environment.