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10 Tips for a successful career when you work remotely

Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney have been best friends and business partners for 5 years. They co-founded Getting Gorgeous Events and the Digital Dish Webisode Series.

Working from home was a dream we both had when we became mothers. We both knew we needed to make an income, but we both knew that we wanted to be home with our children.

It was just a matter of finding the right thing to do at home and seeing if we could make it work.

We both entered the world of blogging about six-plus years ago and were able to create digital businesses on our own (ImNotObsessed.com, LadyandtheBlog.com, MomGenerations.com), but also together too with our Getting Gorgeous Events and our Digital Dish Webisode series.

We've been able to carve out the perfect job for ourselves and for our families, and we've been very thankful for the opportunities that have come from working in the digital space. Before this, we both worked in corporate America. We worked long hours. We had long commutes. We always were rushing around. Working from home truly has its benefits, but it can be difficult at times, too. We love to be around people and talk to people, and the internet is great for that; but sometimes, at home, it can get lonely when it's just you. Also, with being a work-at-home mom, it's difficult when you have deadlines to hit and your kids are calling you from the other room.

Through it all, we've made it work and we wouldn't trade what we do for the world. With eight kids between us, we really feel like this is exactly what we were born to do and it's our dream job. We love offering tips and advice to other moms looking to make the work-at-home leap.

10 Ways to work remotely and be successful

1. Create office hours for yourself

As moms, we know the busiest time of day for us is usually when the kids get home from school and they're diving into homework and then off to after-school activities. We've tried our best to create work hours for ourselves that cater to our lifestyle. We both usually work from 7-3 p.m. and then are "offline" until after the kids go to bed.

2. Make sure you give yourself a lunch break

Many times we'll be working and look up to see that it's after 1 p.m. and we haven't stopped! Make sure you work into your day a lunch break and maybe a coffee break, too.

3. Don't wear your pajamas all day

OK, we're not head-to-toe dressed for a work engagement, but we do get out of our pajamas. We'll both pop on sweats or workout clothing, but we get out of our jammies! We've found that it helps keep us more motivated. One huge perk of working from home, you don't have to wear makeup and do your hair!

4. Skype

We both Skype each other at least 3-4 times a week. It's a great way to stay in check and also keep each other updated on what we have coming up. We love that we can see each other and talk and laugh and be ourselves. We're also able to hold business calls on Skype, which is wonderful. We love the freedom it gives us to still take business calls and be in our business world, but we're able to be at home.

5. Create a work space in your home

It's important to make sure you have your own designated work space. If you don’t have the space for an office, just create a beautiful spot that inspires you and where you know you'll be able to get good work done. Having that space truly helps.

6. Brainstorming sessions

These work really well for us, creating brainstorming sessions with business associates once a week. We both do this multiple times a week. We'll just hop on the phone or Skype and hash through some ideas to make something tighter or more concise. It's helpful to have someone to chat with and work with at times to keep you creative.

7. Stay organized

One of the most important things we've learned is that staying organized is key. You want to make sure you organize yourself work stuff just like you do everything else in your life.

8. Vacation time

This might sound silly, but it's true. In any job that you have, you're given sick days and vacation time. It's there for a reason. We all need time to relax and take a break from work. Make sure you build this into your life when you're working for yourself and from home. It's one of the things that we've both gotten very good at over the last year. Believe us, you need it and you deserve it.

9. Make sure your friends and family know your work schedule

It's very important to make sure your family and friends know your work schedule. Many times, when you work from home, people think that you have the time for visits and phone calls. Just like you couldn't take personal calls at work or have people stop by for visits, stay true to this in your work-home environment. You know those work hours you created? Make sure everyone knows them.

10. At-home babysitter/nanny/mother's helper

Many work-from-home moms have young children and it's tough to try to keep up with their needs and your work needs, too. Our recommendation is to hire a babysitter/nanny/mother's helper for a few hours a week. Key in on times when you know it will be helpful (business calls, deadlines, meetings, etc). This is a great thing to help you be able to get work done, but you know you have someone here to help with the kids, too.

Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration between Skype and SheKnows.

Image: Hero Images/Getty Images
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