With more and more businesses like Twitter and Square letting employees work from home permanently, it seemed about time I threw my hat in about working from home. I’ve been working from home since 2014 and have developed tons of tips and tricks to make working from home, work.
1. Have your own space preferably with a door. One of the biggest problems with working at home is work/life balance. It’s going to be such a huge topic for months to come as people try to figure out all of the new world changes. Whether you have a special corner in the kitchen or a designated office space, have somewhere you work that isn’t where you live.
2. Take scheduled breaks. Put a couple of breaks into your schedule to get up, move around, and get away from your work. Go for a quick walk, eat lunch outside, or watch an episode of television. The most important part is to have a stop time to your break so you don’t end up binge watching an entire season of Community on Netflix. There’s so much value in taking a break to refresh your brain. You’ll end up being more productive over time than if you worked through that break anyway.
3. Have a start and stop time that you stick with like your life depends on it. Live by this schedule. Whether it means scheduling a meeting at the start of your work day to guarantee you’re at your computer or setting a million alarms, do whatever it takes to get to your workspace on time. The same is true with quitting time. It’s so easy to just keep working after five because you live where you work now. The workspace with the door makes it easy to close work off when it’s the end of the day, but regardless of your work environment, have a firm stop time.
4. Forgive yourself. Often. Because working at home is hard. Once the glamour of wearing pajamas and being close to snacks wears off, it takes a ton of focus and dedication to get shiz done. Some days will be easier than others. Be flexible and prepared to go with the flow.
5. Make a To-Do list the night before so you know what’s on the docket that morning. It’s so much easier to jump into the day than having to figure out your schedule the morning of. Plan ahead to give your future self a break. Plus once you finish all of the to-do list items you planned the night before, you’ll feel a strong sense of accomplishment.
There’s no perfect solution to working from home. It’s hard, changes daily, and what works one week won’t work next week. Following these tips will make the transition to working remotely a bit easier. Respect your time as much as possible because no one else will do it for you. In a way you’ve become your own boss. Sure you may have an actual boss, but no one’s watching you work when you’re at home. You’re responsible to get things done.
Now throw on those pajamas, clear off that catch-all desk in the spare room, and get to work.