I work from home every once in a while. I’ve figured out a method that works well for me. Working from home could be a great excuse to turn on the TV, take a long lunch, or sneak out to a hideous skirt convention**, but it can also be a great method for eliminating distractions and getting a lot done! Here are my tips for working from home.
Stay away from the TV: If you live in a small house or apartment, chances are that your TV is in the same place as your desk or kitchen table. Resist the urge to turn on the TV. Felicity can wait (especially since the show originally aired in 1998).
Let people know that you are working from home: Email all of the people you work closely with and let them know that you will be working from home but that you’ll be available by phone, Google Hangout, Gchat, Hedwig etc. If you aren’t at work, people may think that you are out sick so this way they know that you are working and available. Stay on Gchat etc. throughout the day.
Keep your phone nearby: Keep your phone nearby so that people can call you if it is easier to discuss offline. I usually turn my phone off during the day but this is an exception.
Work at a desk or table: It is much easier to stay focused when you are working from a desk or table instead of your couch or bed. If you regularly work from home make a designated work area.
Pretend your boss is hovering over your computer screen: This one is self-explanatory. If you have an urge to check Facebook, find out what kind of cheese you are on Buzzfeed, or Pin a million recipes you won’t cook stop yourself, pretend your boss is hovering over your computer screen.
Go to a coffee shop: I used to work from home more often and I would go to the Le Pain Quotidien on my corner. I got away from any distractions (TV…) and had free refills of coffee. It was a win-win.
Get dressed: Dress professionally. Don’t wear your pajamas, gym clothes, or sweatpants even if you just rolled out of bed or went to the gym. I’ve always thought that how you dress can affect your demeanor and performance. I thought that it might just have been because I went to boarding school and they were strict about dress code, but then I read an interesting article about clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner’s theory regarding, “the psychology of dress.” You don’t have to wear a suit or anything overly formal but look professional and wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
Set working hours: If you work for yourself and regularly work from home it is helpful to set working hours. You’ll be more productive during the time that you have designated to be your work day and you can fully turn-off when your work day ends. It can be hard to have your office also be your home. Setting work hours and having a work area can help you set boundaries without always feeling like you should be working. It may also be helpful to go to a coffee shop, a co-working space, or a library. If you have other friends who work from home you can work with them and trade off working at each other’s apartments.
What tips would you add?