photo credit: Her Creative via Style Collective
Are you looking for some tips for working from home? I’m not surprised. These are unprecedented times, and many people who are accustomed to working in an office, have been sent home for anywhere from two weeks, to one month. Coronovirus is forcing people to stay in their homes, and thanks to the Internet, we are able to shop, work, and entertain ourselves in the comfort of our homes; away from potential germs.
Working from home might sound like fun on the surface, but it takes a certain level of organization on your part in order to be a successful endeavor.
Before I was a blogger, I worked at jobs where I had the flexibility to work from home. I even held one job which was at a start-up that had no office space. We all worked from home, held meetings at each other homes, and attended many meetings on the phone or via video conferencing. This is when I learned how to work from home, and to not only be efficient, but successful.
So, without further ado, here are my tips for working from home
Create a workspace
It’s really important to have a dedicated workspace in your home for work. We are fortunate enough to have an office in our home. We have cabinets on one side of the room where our kids store their toys, art supplies, school-work from past years they want to keep, and extra school supplies such as binder paper and pencils. This gives my kids a place to go to do their homework after school. We also use the room during the day as a workspace. My husband’s company currently has him working from home until mid-April, so he uses the room from roughly 8am-6pm.
If you have a home office, you are in good shape, if not, you need to create a space at home for work. Do you have a formal dining room you only use when you have guests over? You can turn that into your temporary workspace while we are “social distancing.”
Do you have a roomy mudroom? Remember how I mentioned our office has a lot of kid stuff in it? I live in California and we really don’t need our mudroom. I turned our mudroom in my office for Bay Area Fashionista. It’s a little tight, but it’s a quiet, dedicated workspace. If you have a mudroom you don’t need, since you aren’t really leaving the house right now, you can put a card table, desk, or other work surface inside and create a workspace for yourself.
Are you in a small apartment, or all of your rooms already have an important use? You can use your kitchen table or coffee table to work. Just make sure no-one uses a TV in that room, or make sure people in your household stay in another room while you are working. Chances are your kids are at home too, so make sure you can all separate yourselves from one another.
Get high-speed Internet
It’s 2020, so there is a good chance you have fast Internet. But, just in case you are using something slow, invest in wifi through your cable company, satellite company, or other form available in your area. The faster your connection speed, the easier it will be to work from home. After all, your company probably has an extremely fast connection, so you want to try to emulate that at home.
Stock your kitchen with what you need
Do you drink coffee at the office? Does your break room stock sodas or drinks you don’t normally buy at home, but enjoy at the office? Do your co-workers share certain snacks you don’t normally buy? Do yourself a favor and buy the food and drinks you enjoy at the office, and put them in your pantry or refrigerator. This will keep you feeling like you are at work, and keep the office vibe going for you. It’s a psychological thing that will help you stay focused and efficient.
Stay away from the Television, Radio, and other home distractions.
When you break for lunch, coffee, or need a general ten minute rest, don’t get tempted to turn on the TV, radio, or other distractions you find in your house. These types of distractions will throw off your day, and you’ll find yourself extending your breaks too long; in turn, you won’t get your work done in a timely manner. Keep everything business during the day.
Talk to your family-tell them to leave you alone
It’s really tempting for kids, a spouse, and even yourself, to start chatting with each other when you are all home during the day. Don’t do it. Pretend they aren’t there. Focus on your work during the day. If your spouse mentions a honey-do list, explain to your spouse that it can wait until after work, or the weekend. Keep your business time strictly business. This will help you stay focused and efficient.
Keep your routine regular
What do you normally do everyday when leaving the house to work? Keep doing that at home. Wake up at the same time you normally do to commute. Continue to take your daily shower. If you shave, do that daily too. If you have a workout routine, continue that at home. You can go for a walk instead, go for a jog, use on-demand technology to do a cardio routine at home, and play sports with your family in the backyard. Keep yourself moving in the same way you did before you were forced to work from home.
Eat quick meals
Just because you are home, don’t try cooking a recipe you saw on a cooking show during your lunch break. Stick to the quick meals you eat at work such as leftovers warmed up in the microwave, sandwiches, and pre-made sushi from the supermarket. If you try to be a gourmet chef on your lunch break, you will take too long of a break, get distracted, and become less efficient.
Seriously, it’s really easy to feel lazy when you are in the comfort of your own home. Don’t fall into that trap. Start work at the same time you normally do, and stop work at the same time you normally do. Stay in your workspace, and stay focused. This will allow you to keep your quality of work high, and your efficiency normal.
Remind yourself it’s temporary
This is a temporary situation. You won’t be working from home for the rest of your career. If it drives you crazy, keep reminding yourself it’s not forever, and you can get through this. Many people are in the same boat. If you are like me, and working from home is normal for you, then just enjoy the ride. You probably already have an efficient routine.
Also, wash your hands, and make the most of being home. Remember to relax on the weekends, and after work. It can be tempting to continue to sit in front of your laptop and work since you don’t have to brave a long commute. Don’t do it. Don’t burn yourself out working more than you usually do. Remember, keep your routine the same. The only difference is you are saving money on gas, dry cleaning, and the stress of sitting in traffic.
Let me know if you have any questions! Feel free to comment below, or email me. My whole family is home too, so we are all in this together.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks, Cathy! I’ve been working from home since we moved here and your advice is excellent.
Thank you! So glad you like it. Love that you work from home too!!