Top Tips for Working from Home
Working from home, when not state-mandated, is still becoming more commonplace each day. Email, chat, and virtual meeting platforms keep us well-connected, and technology has become affordable enough that it’s easy to have a home setup that rivals any office environment. But just because you have the equipment and technology to work from home successfully, doesn’t mean it will always be easy. Here are a few tips to help make working from home successful and productive.
1. Dress Professionally
You’ve probably read this before, and perhaps laughed as you opened your laptop still wearing your pajama pants, but there’s a strong argument to be made for dressing professionally while you work from home. Experts say that dressing similarly as you would for the office can set the tone for your day and help you feel organized and in control. Even if you don’t go the whole nine yards, putting effort into pulling yourself together to some degree is sure to deliver benefits, and you’ll be happy you did when your next “camera on” virtual meeting pops up on your calendar!
2. Keep a Routine
Going hand in hand with feeling organized and in control by looking professional is the concept of keeping regular hours and a daily routine. If you are syncing with a corporate office location, this tip will likely be easy to achieve as you will want to log in and be online and available during the same hours as your virtual officemates. If you are freelancing or working in a different time zone, it may be up to you to keep yourself accountable for following a routine. Those who have had success working from home recommend starting your day early as you would if you had a daily commute. Set your alarm, make some coffee, and log in at the same time each day. Keeping a routine will also help you get better sleep as your body will naturally want to wind down each night after rising early and putting in a full day at the virtual office.
3. Have a Dedicated Workspace
As cozy as your couch may be, it is unlikely to be the place that you will the most productive working during the day. If you have enough space, a room with a door that you can close to separate yourself from the rest of your home is ideal. If not, that’s ok, simply dedicating an area, be it a countertop, dining table, or corner of a room, is enough to get yourself in the right frame of mind for work from home success. Looking for home office inspiration? Check out these home office ideas.
4. Unplug and Disconnect
A final key to work-from-home success is to set boundaries that clearly separate your work life and your home life. Working a full day and then logging off at the end of the day, just as you would at the office, cues your brain that the workday is over, and relaxation may begin. Walking away from or disassembling your dedicated workspace is also important for signaling that your day is over. Just as you have committed to keeping a regular daily start time, so too should you hold yourself accountable for ending your day cleanly and clearly. Pull yourself away from your email and list items that are left undone on your next day’s to-do list.
The next time you pull up to your home workspace, do a quick check for the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to experiencing work-from-home bliss!
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