5 Tips for Working From Home
There is a reason many people are now beginning to work from home instead of traditional offices. Budget cuts, geographical location, and space are just to name a few. There is also a reason why offices were created in the first place and why they are still widely utilized. These environments promote productivity, which is essentially any company’s goal. Succeed at working from home by implementing these tricks pulled right from the traditional office’s playbook.
- Set a schedule
I am a list person and schedule person through and through. Force yourself to work from x time to x time by creating a schedule within that period. It is unlikely that your schedule will be the exact same everyday, but try to create one that you know you can stick to most days. Another idea (if you need to be more regimented) is to map out your week and create a schedule based on exactly what calls, meetings, tasks, etc. you have going on that particular week.
- Establish rules
Most offices have some sort of informal (or formal) rules. No personal calls, lunch breaks limited to an hour or less, please wear shoes and do not spend the entire day online shopping…those sorts of things. My suggestion is to create some rules for yourself. Write them down or type them out and really try to stick to them. Say you have an errand to run – do it during your “lunch break,” just like you would if you were working in an office. This prevents you from getting distracted and not getting anything done.
- Find a desk
I am not saying head to the nearest IKEA or jump on wayfair.com and order the first thing you can find. I am saying find a space in your home that is conducive for your work and allows you to be productive. For some, that may be a legitimate desk in an office or just a desk in their room. If you are like me and have roommates, you might have to work from the bedroom to stay undistracted. It really just depends on what works for you. Even if you are flexible and can plop your laptop on the coffee table one hour or the patio the next, having a “backup” area that you know is tried and true productive always works for me.
- TAKE OFF THE PJs
This may be the hardest part of working from home. You think, “Yes I don’t even have to get dressed today!,” but that totally impacts your productivity. While I rarely even put on pants with a button when I work from home, I take what I legitimately slept in off and put on clean, comfortable clothes. I truly think if you are in your PJs working, you will still be in your PJs mindset, aka sleeping. Put on some clean clothes and get to work! Although you can totally keep your slippers on, these are practically glued to my feet at any given time.
- Get Out
I find that if I am in a slump or becoming too distracted while at home, I venture out. Many offices promote that as well. It is why lunch breaks, off site meetings, and other out-of-office activities exist. Whether I go run an errand or park my computer at a coffee shop and work from there, leaving home usually helps. I think even knowing in the back of my mind I have the backup of heading to a coffee shop or somewhere else helps me stay motivated. Many cities now have cool shared office spaces you can drop into as well, which could be a great option if you find yourself losing focus at home often.
Working from home is no easy feat. While it definitely has its advantages and flexibility, there are many challenges that come with it too. I hope these tips are somewhat helpful and be sure to share any ideas you have in the comments below!