I work from home and have for quite some time. However, most people haven’t and this entire lifestyle is completely new to them and can be extremely overwhelming. Since I think I have a pretty good handle on this whole working from home thing, I figured it would be a good time to share some tips for those of you who are facing it right now, unexpectedly or for those of you who are contemplating working from home in the future.
Working from home has it’s pros and cons, just like every other ‘office’. Some may have it easier than others while some probably have it a whole hell of a lot harder. Some of you may not have home offices. Maybe some of you have kids at home right now or you have to adjust to having your spouse or partner also working from home. (My spouse is working from home too right now and it’s new territory that I think we are coping with pretty well.)
Pros of Working from Home:
Before you get completely discouraged, there are some serious pros to working from home. I think we should take a look at those first to keep those spirits up.
- The ability to completely customize your space in any way you want.
- You can wear sweatpants!
- All your favorite things are there when it’s time for a break.
- You can get more work done from home due to fewer distractions from co-workers.
- No Commute!
- More Flexibility.
- You Can save some cash.
Cons of Working from Home:
Albeit, there are some cons, (that I’ll tackle in the tip section). But, it’s important to note them so that you’re aware of some of the obstacles that don’t come up in a traditional workspace.
- No supervisor physically present structuring what to do next.
- The distractions of all your favorite things being, well, in your home.
- Sudden changes to your daily routine.
- Spending your days working in a place you’re used to relaxing.
- You HAVE TO boost your self-discipline.
- It can be harder to turn ‘work you’ off at the end of the day.
- Loneliness can be an issue for many.
20 Work from Home Tips
So, let’s get to those tips. Working from home provides a different lifestyle and some adjustments are certainly going to be needed. Regardless of what type of work you’re doing from home, these tips will help you stay on task, not get discouraged and possibly be even more productive than you are in a traditional work environment. Here are 20 work from home tips coming from somebody who has been working from consistently.
1. Use a Planner
A planner is truly a life-saver for those of us working from home. You can write in a physical planner, (which is my personal preference), or you can use one of the many apps. Trello is a great tool also that I highly recommend and it’s FREE!
A planner allows you to keep all of your tasks organized. It will help you tremendously if you don’t already use one. You can track every single thing you need to get done during the day and I’ve found that using a planner makes me at least 5x more productive!
2. Stay Organized
Staying organized can be a challenge, especially at first, for those new to the work-at-home world. I mean, it’s your space so there’s nobody there to tell you to keep it clean or organized. That’s all on you. However, it’s extremely important to stay organized – especially in your workspace!
3. Make Your Workspace work for you
We all have different preferences when it comes to where we work. If you already have a home office, set it up so that you can make the most of it.
Here are some quick tips to make your workspace work for you:
- Keep it Tidy
- Have Items around that motivate you/help with productivity
- Make Sure you have access to everything you need
- Keep it separate from everything else, (preferably in another room if you can.)
4. Remember to Socialize
Okay, so socialize SAFELY in these times. But, normally, when working from home, you can begin to feel pretty isolated throughout the day. Sending a text to friends and family members or chatting for a bit is a great way to balm the loneliness.
I’m going to do another article soon about socializing safely in these times but for now, try this quick tips to socialize while working from home:
- Skype/Facetime/Zoom with Friends & Family
- Have a “Game night” via one of the previously mentioned mediums
- Online Gaming (Xbox One, PS4 – other outlets)
5. Set Aside Time to Exercise
Working from home provides even less opportunity to get moving throughout the day. You need to make sure that you’re staying physically active.
Having a Fitbit has been really helpful for me because it reminds me to keep moving throughout the day.
6. Don’t Neglect Taking Care of Yourself
Sure, working in your comfy clothes is nice – real nice, most of the time. However, you can start to slack when it comes to taking care of yourself. Have a solid self-care routine in place. (Writing even your self-care activities out in your planner is a great way to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.)
Quick Ideas for Self-Care:
- Detox Bath
- At-Home Facial
- DIY Mani/Pedi
- Hair Mask
7. Stick to a Healthy Morning Routine
There are tons of ways to create the perfect morning routine for you. The ideal morning routine is going to energize you, prepare you for the day, provide nourishment and set you up to get things done.
Some ideas for your morning routine:
- Have a Smoothie
- Shower – (A cold shower in the morning is a great way to give yourself a nice energy burst for the day.)
9. Have the Right Tech
Having the right tools for the job is crucial. Make sure that you have a reliable computer, a good router, a printer that works for you and all the other tech you would have a 9-5.
10. Try to Get Outside for at least 15 Minutes
Depending on where you live, this can be challenging to do every single day. However, it’s important to soak up that vitamin D and breathe in some fresh air. Try to get outside as much as possible to avoid cabin fever.
11. Don’t Snack More than you Would at the Office
It can be easy to make your way to the fridge or pantry and grab a snack during the day. However, it isn’t a good idea. Do not snack more than you would at the office.
12. Give Time-Blocking a Try
This works for a lot of people and makes them a hell of a lot more productive. If you have never tried time-blocking, give it a whirl. It may surprise you! While working at home without the structure of co-workers/supervisors, it can be pretty easy to slack. If you find yourself slacking more than usual, try time-blocking!
13. Talk it Over with Those You Live With
Currently, my husband is also working from home. While he has done this a few times in the past, it becomes very different when he’s here every day too. We work very well together and were able to set up separate workspaces but others can’t do this. Just this morning while we were having our coffee, he said, “It feels like every day is the weekend”, and he was right. With him here, (especially for that first week), slacking was so easy! I mean, we wanted to spend time with each other.
Just make sure that you talk about working from home with others who live with you. Set some rules for yourself. It can be easy to slack as well as finding yourself in each others’ way. Just talk it out.
14. Structure it as if you were in the Office
What I mean by this is have a clear START time and a clear END time. It can be difficult to turn off your work mindset at the end of the day while working from home.
15. Limit Those Distractions
At home, all your favorite things are there. Nobody is watching you and those distractions can become a real issue. Limit distractions as much as possible.
Keep the television off if it’s going to distract you, avoid scrolling through social media, stay out of the kitchen, stay away from the gaming systems during the day and find ways to stick to the tasks at hand.
16. Use Music as a Productivity Tool
Music is a great way to find your ‘flow’ while working from home. I did an experiment last year for 2 weeks where I worked with music and without. I was ALWAYS more productive with music playing in the background.
17. Take Breaks
Taking frequent breaks has been known to boost productivity. You take breaks at the office so make sure you’re taking them while working from home as well.
Some ‘Quick Break’ Ideas:
- Have a Cup of Tea/Coffee
- Play with A Furry Friend
- De-Clutter your Workspace
- Clean Something
- Get your steps up
18. Keep The Bedroom ‘Sacred’
The bedroom is for sleeping and of course, other things. Do not drag your work into the bedroom. While working from home, make sure your bedroom is still that ‘sacred space’ it always has been. There’s no room for work-related items in the bedroom, it’ll throw off the vibe.
19. Don’t Slack, Even when the day is tough
One of the biggest issues I see being faced by those who have been forced to work from home is that they are finding it way easier to slack off. Sure, your gaming system is right there but there is still work to be done.
This is particularly important when you hit one of those days where it feels like it’s just one thing after another. You may think to yourself, “nobody is watching, I can just mess around on my phone until I’m needed.” DO NOT GET INTO THIS MINDSET. It can be a pretty hard habit to break.
20. Embrace the Changes, Adapt and Find Your Rhythm
Change can be good but it can also be scary, (especially with everything else that’s been going on). We as humans though have an incredible ability to adapt. While it may seem like it’s taking forever for you to find your rhythm while working from home – trust that you will get there.
As mentioned, there are some serious pros to working from home. Learn to find that balance and you may find that you’re happier this way. Just like it is with so many other things, there are going to be some ups and downs. Be thankful that you’re able to work from home and trial and error what works for you.
Good luck out there. 🙂
Stay Safe, Stay Sane & Embrace Working From Home.
Please share any work-from-home tips you use in the comments 🙂