Ten Tips For Working From Home
As a consultant, I’ve been working primarily from home for several years. There are many coveted perks working from home but to do it successfully I’ve implemented my own set of rules and best practices.
Perks of Working From Home
- It’s an introvert’s dream not having to interact with humans every single day.
- You’re always home to collect packages from late-night online shop ups.
- You save a ton of money on food and beverages by making coffee and meals at home.
- Avoiding annoying bosses and co-workers.
- The short commute.
Best Practices For Working From Home Successfully
Get dressed for the day.
Anyone who works from home will tell you that one of the greatest perks is to be able to work in cozy clothes. True, but don’t work in pajamas, sweats, or anything you wore to bed the night before. As tempting as it might be, just don’t. You will be surprised at how much more productive your workday will be, and how much more professional you will feel just by dressing appropriately for the workday, even if it’s just jeans and a clean t-shirt. I skip hair and makeup often, but I always dress for the day.
Match work hours with those of your colleagues.
Another perk of working from home is setting your own hours. Within reason. It’s awesome not having to clock in at an office at 8 am every day but you must make yourself available to respond to and collaborate with your colleagues.
Set a morning routine.
I’m at my most productive when I have a morning routine. My afternoons can take off in many directions, but I try to begin each morning with a set routine by setting an alarm, drinking coffee while I outline my to-do list and priorities for the day, and get myself dressed. Most days, from morning to lunchtime, are pretty routine, and it helps me stay focused.
Take the occasional musical interlude.
At some point in my workday, I will rock out. It may be when I stop for lunch or take a snack break, but I will turn on music and turn it up. I don’t play music throughout my workday because it hinders my concentration if I’m writing, but musical interludes are vital. It helps me clear any mental cobwebs and resets my mind for the next block of work.
Get out of the house.
If you’ve realized that you’ve been plugging away in your home office and haven’t left the house in a couple of days, get out of the house. It’s important to breathe fresh air and clear the mind. Take an hour or two at the end of the day to go for a walk, pick up groceries, or run an errand.
Watch for signs of loneliness and isolation.
Working from home can be a solitary existence. Especially if you live alone. Be aware of your emotions if you find yourself feeling isolated from the world. This is the time to make plans. Meet up with a friend or colleagues for drinks or a meal. Book a trip or get-away weekend to see friends or family.
Know when you are most productive.
Some people advise knocking out the hardest tasks first to get them out of the way. Though, I attack my most challenging or tedious tasks when I’m at my optimum and operating on full brainpower. For me, this is in the afternoon. Morning people shoot right out of the gate first thing and start to lose steam as the day goes on. I am the opposite. The afternoon to early evening is when I am most on my game, especially when it comes to phone calls. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for me to get a burst of energy at night and bake a cake, or start a new project when others are winding down and getting ready for bed.
Use instant messaging apps, project management programs, conference calls, or whatever is customary within your company or industry to stay connected to colleagues. If you’re feeling out of touch or need clarification on objectives or expectations, never hesitate to reach out or schedule a call or in-person meeting.
Keep an organized workspace.
To start your workday off right, spend a few minutes each morning organizing your desk and workspace. If you have a designated office with a door, it may be tempting to simply shut any office clutter away from the rest of the house and not think about it but if your workspace is out in the open, it’s even more important to keep it tidy and organized.
Clean the house on weekends.
Weekends can be eaten up by all the obligations and tasks we couldn’t get to during the week but for those of us who work from home, it’s imperative to take the time to clean the house, catch up on laundry, and essentially eliminate any distractions that could hamper your progress come Monday. A cluttered house is a cluttered mind. I’ll admit there are times when I toss a load of laundry in during the middle of my workday but nothing focuses the mind at the beginning of the workweek than having a clean house.