I always wished for a job that would allow me to work from home. Three years ago, my wish came true when my job went remote. I was ecstatic! Particularly because it was January, it was cold, and the prospect of not leaving my apartment until April seemed delicious. A few weeks in to my new life, however, I began to realize that working from home came with some pitfalls. Turns out, it’s hard to be your most productive when you’re on your couch for 8+ hours and don’t get out of pajamas. That’s when I decided that I needed to make some changes. Here are 5 things I did that helped me to effectively work from home.
- Get Dressed. Pajamas all day is fantastic — on weekends. During the week, not so much. Showering and putting on my big girl clothes before logging on to my computer made a HUGE difference in my level of motivation and productivity. Even something as casual as jeans and a t-shirt made me feel more ready to take on the day.
- Create a Designated Working Space. When I first began working from home, I loved being able to sit on my couch, watch TV, and shoot out some e-mails. But not surprisingly, this didn’t make for the most effective working conditions. Creating a work space in your home is key to helping you stay on task and get things done. If you have a spare room, consider turning into a home office. If you don’t have the extra space, setting up a work station at your dining room table will help keep you from napping on the sofa when you should be reaching out to clients.
- Set a Schedule. One of the great things about working from home is the flexibility. You can work any time and from anywhere. One of the worst things about working from home is that you can work any time and from anywhere. Setting a schedule for yourself will help you to create a balance between home life and work life, since they can bleed into each other quite easily if you’re not careful. If you would normally leave the office at 6:00 p.m., then shut down your computer at that time and walk away. Of course, you’ll have days when things just need to get done, but getting into the habit of shutting down at a reasonable hour will help prevent you from feeling like you’re working around the clock.
- Get Outside. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get out of your house for at least a few minutes everyday. Working from home can be isolating, and you can literally spend days indoors without having to see or talk to anyone. Be sure to take a few minutes every day to take a short walk, meet a friend for lunch, or work from a coffee shop for a few hours to break up your day. Having that human interaction will help to refuel your creative juices and will also just make you happier.
- Regularly Communicate with Coworkers. When you work from home, it’s hard to feel a sense of camaraderie with your colleagues. Maintaining regular contact with them can help you to feel more connected to your team, and when you’re more emotionally invested, you tend to do better work. It’s also important to stay in regular contact with your manager so that you know what they expect from you and they know how hard you’re working.
What are some of your tips for working from home?