7 tips to working from home
Since my somewhat sudden move to Florida back in July, I've been working remotely for my Public Relations agency back in Philadelphia. I had always dreamed of having such flexibility, but the truth of the matter is that working from home can be more challenging than commuting into an office. True, I get to hang out with my dog all day and work in my PJs if I want to. But, endless home chores and errands are constantly competing for my focus, and the lack of human interaction can be incredibly lonely. For those of you in similar situations (or who are fortunate enough to be able to work from home occasionally), I've compiled a few tips.
- Get dressed. In my first few weeks of working from home, I relished sleeping in past when Andrew would wake up and staying in my PJs. This leads to nothing getting done. I get up exactly when my husband does, and either shower and get dressed or head right into a workout. I then put on real clothes and start my day as if I was going to the office.
- Establish a routine. Similar to the above, it's important to get into a routine. Get up at the same time every day. I either get up and work out in the AM, or get up and eat breakfast before settling into work.
- Have a dedicated workspace. It's tempting to stay in bed with your laptop, or sit on the couch in front of the TV. However, I'm much more productive when I head into my home office (or if you have a nice corner that you can set up with a desk). This is also important because you need to be able to get away from work in your house. On weekends, I like to shut the door to my office and not think about it until Monday.
- Build in breaks. One of the downfalls of working from home is that you feel like you should always be available. You don't need to commute. Lunch is just downstairs in the kitchen. Every few hours, I go for a walk with the dog. I make sure to take time in the morning or after 5PM to get in a workout. Working from home shouldn't mean that you're always working.
- Stock your pantry with healthy snacks. I eat when I'm bored, and it's easy to get bored when you're only talking to your dog all day unless you're on a conference call. I make sure my kitchen is stocked with fruits, nuts, and other healthy snacks so that I'm not wrecking my diet when I feel the urge.
- Make time for socializing. I tend to be a bit of a hermit during the week (sometimes on weekends too). But Andrew works late, and I don't get a lot of 1:1 human time. I'm lucky to have a friend a few blocks away, so we try to head to the same workout class a few times a week, or meet up for walks with the dogs or bike rides. I don't know how I'd maintain my sanity without this social time.
- Make time for chores, but be reasonable about it. Just like it's important to make some time for yourself, it's understandable that being at home you need to make time to do things like fold laundry, or unload the dishwasher. For me, I try to tackle one of these things before I start working in the morning, one at lunch, and one after. I also make a list at the beginning of the week of the things outside of work that I feel I can reasonably accomplish. I try to stick to things that are immediate, and not stress if I don't get to something that can wait.
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