As I write this I am sitting at my best friends house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My company has given their employees the luxury to work from home every Friday which I think is such a fantastic perk and a great way to show your employees you care about their work-life balance. Being new to Chicago this has been such an exciting opportunity to really explore my new home, and opens so many doors for more travel! But having a flexible work schedule also comes with a couple challenges like not going stir crazy when working from home and also being able to stay productive during work hours. From the last month and a half, I have learned a couple tricks for staying focused and getting my work done.
Staying productive and on track is probably the biggest hurdle when working from home. You have your pet there, the couch looks awfully cozy too… you also have some dirty dishes in the sink and you really wanted to do some laundry before your weekend plans. I find that having a space that is dedicated to working is the best way to get stuff done and really focus on the task at hand. I set up a desk in the corner of my room by the window as my mini office that way I’m separated from most of my distractions.
Communicate with Coworkers
Because you’re away from the office and can’t just pop up and ask your coworker a question is it very important to communicate in other ways. Utilize different chat systems if your office has them. My personal favorite is Hangouts by Google, its part of your Gmail services and its just like instant messaging. Make sure if you’re going to be taking a lunch or running an errand you communicate that with your team that way they aren’t expecting you to answer as promptly.
Cut Down on Distractions
Just like having a desk space to work from cutting down on the distractions is of course key. Make the dog lay in the other room or leave the tv off. I like to give myself some short breaks since I will often times work through my lunch. But I will get a work task finish and then tackle the dishes.
If you work from home frequently you could also get a little stir crazy staying in all the time. So make sure you get dressed and act like you’re going to the office. Make the bed, grab your coffee and put on an outfit. This way you are keeping your routine and the work mindset.
Take a Lunch Break
I often times will work through the regular lunchtime but I always try to get myself outside for some fresh air when working from home. A quick walk around the block or grabbing some lunch at a local restaurant is a great way to give yourself that refresh.
The beauty of working from home is you can work from anywhere. Don’t feel like staying at your desk all day every day is the only way to get your work done. Give yourself the occasional change of pace by working from a coffee shop or even the library. Changing your scenery could spark some new creativity.
Another fantastic perk of working from home and the luxury of getting up when you feel most productive. You don’t have to worry about your regular commute to the office and if you’re like me take advantage of an earlier start time. I love getting my coffee made and sitting down around 7 to start working, I’m more focused in the mornings and can really crank out a lot of work.
How do you work from home?