Do you ever wake up in the morning and wish that you could just skip the shower, forgo the makeup, and go to work in your PJ’s? I sure do. The good news is that I get to do that twice a week! 😉
I’m super lucky in that I work for a company that lets us work from home twice a week after two years. I am coming up on my third year at E-Power Marketing, and I’ve been working from home for a year. It’s definitely been a great change of pace that’s made so many days less stressful and more relaxed. Of course there’s been some challenges, but that’s to be expected, ya? When I first started my work from home schedule, I reached out to my coworkers that work from home part time and the ones who work from home full time for some advice. They were super helpful and it made my little transition even easier! I love working from home, and when I first started I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be as productive or my relationships with my coworkers would suffer, but they didn’t and I was still productive – if not more productive compared to when I’m in the office.
Maybe you just got a new job where you work remotely or your office decided to let everyone work from home a few days a week. Or maybe you’ve taken the plunge to work for yourself! If you’re going to start working from home or maybe you’ve already got a few days under your belt, you might be wondering what it’ll be like. Will you be productive? Will your laundry and your other responsibilities at home tear you away from your computer? What about your adorable dog or when your kids are home? How will you switch on and off from work all without leaving your home?
I might have just made your head spin, but you know what? It’s possible! You can figure it out. You can find that balance of workin’ hard on and off the clock all under the same roof. Promise. Try out some of these tips for working from home to have a more productive and enjoyable transition.
Create a Dedicated Work Space
This may be easier said than done for some people. When I first started working from home I lived in a one bedroom apartment. There was no way in hell I was turning part of my bedroom into an office, so that left me with our living room. It wasn’t a large living room, but there was just enough room in the corner for a small table to hold a monitor and keyboard. Now Dave and I live in a two bedroom apartment, and we’ve turned our second bedroom into an office space for the both of us. It’s way more spacious and easier to walk away from work at the end of the day.
You definitely don’t have to do this, but I bought a desktop to work from. I did this for a couple of reasons. First, I eventually want two monitors because 2+ monitors is liiiiife. Second, at the time I didn’t have a work laptop, so I wanted to keep my work separate from my personal stuff on my laptop. Now I have a work laptop and I use a docking station to display on my monitor, so I don’t really need my desktop, but I still have it. I actually prefer to use it over my laptop for personal things too.
Having a dedicated, organized work space makes it easier to focus and makes it less likely that I’m going to get distracted by my guinea pigs or the pile of clothes on my floor.
Schedule Breaks Throughout the Day
Just as you
would should do this while you’re in the office, you should schedule yourself breaks throughout the day at home too. I like to take this time to grab a snack, do some laundry, or just pick up a little bit. I would love to say that I go for walks, but I don’t. You should! 🙂 If you have a dog that would be an even better reason to do it. Sometimes I’ll take a quick 5 minute break, sometimes I’ll take a little bit of a longer one. I guess it depends on my schedule for the day and how I’m feeling stress-wise.
Do whatever you gotta do, but make sure you take those breaks when you’re at home and when you’re in the office. They make a huge difference in your mood, energy, and quality of work.
Get Out of the House
My #1 favorite thing about working from is being able to go work at a coffee shop. I’ve tried to create a creative and motivating space in my apartment, but sometimes I want yet another space to work in. There’s something about the buzz of a coffee shop filled with people working, chatting, planning weddings (hehe – my favorite convo to listen to!), and swaying back and forth rapping to Eminem in the corner under their breath. …. Ok ok. Maybe that last part is just me.
Maybe a coffee shop isn’t your scene and you’d rather hang at a co-working space, a library, or an outdoor space with Wi-Fi. I found my little creative corner of Oshkosh, and if you find yours make sure you use it!
Keep Healthy Snacks Around
Oh you guys. I am a snacker. If you know me, you know that I don’t really ever stop eating and I am a sucker for sweet things. There was one day our whole team was sent home early because of a snow storm (pre work from home days), but we were expected to work once we made it home safely. So, I set myself up in my apartment and then promptly began to eat everything in sight. EVERYTHING. I don’t even know why?! So, I knew I couldn’t be left alone with treats and snack foods on work days because I would just mindlessly eat and stress eat. We totally still have snack foods around the house, but they’re way better than a bag of Starbursts or gummy bears. We’re talking snack sized pretzels, Sargento balanced breaks (UGH YUM), apples, etc.
You’ll snack more than you think, so make sure you have a good breakfast and lunch planned and healthy snacks on hand to set yourself up for success health-wise and work-wise! You’ll feel more energized and more focused – I promise.
Be More Social When You’re Actually in the Office
Like I said, I work from home only two days a week, and I’m in the office for the other three. Now that I see people far less often (I see one person only one day a week!!), I try my hardest to make my days in the office count. It’s so easy to get stuck with your face in a screen unless you need something from someone else, or vice versa. I try really hard to make sure that I am taking the time to ask my coworkers about their days, weekends, family, etc. I consider my coworkers to be friends, and their friendships make work really great. So I want to make sure those relationships are maintained so that I still have fun when I come in on Wednesdays. 🙂 This won’t necessarily make you more productive, but it will sure make you happier!
If I was starting my work from home schedule all over again, these would have been the things I told myself to set myself up for success. My coworkers were nice enough to pass a few of these on to me when I asked them a year ago for some advice, and so now I’m doing the same for you! Working from home is freeing and relaxing, and when you do it right, it’s really productive. I’ve had some of my most productive and focused work days in my office or at Starbucks.
If you work from home part time or full time, I want to hear your advice and secrets for making your day productive and your space creative!