While it feels like most of the world is closed for business, people are being quarantined or self-isolating and many businesses are sending employees to work from home for their very first time. Working from home should be easy right? Less restrictions and you don’t have to rush to work in the morning along with many of the other challenges it takes to get to work. WRONG! Working from home takes a lot of discipline and prioritizing, so here are some tips to help you find your groove:
1. Make a space for work.... only!
It’s easier than you can imagine for work and personal life to run together when you work from home. Having a space dedicated to work only is the best way to allow yourself to focus on work. While many successful entrepreneurs have started their business at their kitchen table or bedroom these are not the ideal choices for a home office workspace. What has worked best for others may not be the best for you. It is also easy to get distracted by dirty dishes, laundry, kids or the television. If possible, an office with a door would work best. If that is not an option for you, you can use screens or any other type of barrier to set apart your office space dedicated to work only. Having this separate workspace away from distractions will help you focus and be productive and it also helps with claiming the home office tax deduction when filing your yearly taxes.
2. Make a schedule that you can commit to
While it can be awesome to make your own schedule and work on your own terms it is just as easy to procrastinate. Plan out your workday. By making a list of priorities it will help you maximize your time and efficiency. You can also set up a calendar that can give you a quick overview of what is in store for your day so that you can easily make plans around your work. Also, resist temptation to browse social media or scroll through emails by tracking your progress through the list of priorities that you set each day. Productivity can easily take a hit so making a schedule and setting up regular work hours can ensure that you know what tasks need to be completed and help keep you focused.
3. Set Boundaries and avoid distraction
Since you will be spending many hours in your home workspace, this area should be one of little distraction and provides you with a quiet work environment. Ideally, this would mean a room with a door, if possible, that would indicate when you are working and do not wish to be bothered. However, if this is not an option, make sure whatever workspace you choose to work from is consistent every day and functional for you. Also, make sure to set limits with family and friends because when they hear you work from home, they often don’t understand that the work you do at home is just as important as the work you were doing in the office. If necessary, make them aware of your schedule and ask them to respect it just as if they would if you were working outside of your home.
4. Take breaks
Scheduling time to take frequent breaks throughout your day can help give you a breather and make room for a more productive day, besides who wants to sit at a desk the ENTIRE day? Try to stand up as much as possible, maybe while in a meeting or when taking a phone call. Not to mention that standing vs sitting has proven health benefits since the number and volume of muscles used to stand are greater than sitting which helps to burn more calories.
Working from home is like any other job but with more perks! The faster you adjust to working from your home workspace, the more you can enjoy your work. Not many people can say that they show up to work in their pajamas, take a nap in their bed during their lunch break and skip evening traffic jams. Sometimes working from home can be quite an adjustment and it isn’t until you talk to someone who must commute daily to and from work or work with difficult coworkers that you realize how fortunate you really are!
We would love to hear from you! Share with us how you have managed to make working at home, work for you.