Working from home can be an incredible experience, especially if you have young children still at home or other commitments you want to focus on as well as your career.
However, without the structure and support of a typical work environment, it can often be difficult to manage work-life balance and stay as organized as you need to be to make this particular form of employment work. So read on for all the tips and tricks to make the most out of your workday, without losing hope in the process.
Pretend you’re not at home
While this might sound potentially like strange advice, listen up because to be successfully working from home, you might just have to pretend that you’re not.
Since you’ll be at home for the entirety of the day, the temptation is dangerously high to work in your comfiest PJs, to leave the shower until after you’ve finished work (if at all, let’s be honest) and to slouch about all day. But trust me when I say that there is nothing better you can do for your workday than to get up, go shower, and put on an outfit that you would happily let your boss or colleagues see you in.
This doesn’t have to be a three-piece suit by any means, but by wearing a clean, smart t-shirt or top, some structured trousers or skirt, all of which feels coordinated and an outfit that you feel good in, you will be thanking yourself a little later down the line. And virtual workspace and remote working tools will help as well. Just give those a try
By wearing something not even necessarily formal, but most definitely clean and put together, you are putting yourself in ‘work mode’. This means that you’ll most likely feel fresher and more motivated to get on with everything that you need to, and will probably be more efficient in the process too.
Working in comfy, and likely a little too worn, clothing might seem like a good idea at the time, but you’ll probably find yourself scrolling on your phone and yawning into your hands more than you’d like…you might even do yourself the disservice of allowing yourself a few cheeky, unneeded naps too. And a nap at work just isn’t a good idea.
The bed is not your friend
We’ve all been there, sitting in bed, willing ourselves to get up and start the day… and then the temptation to work from your duvet hits. But it’s never a good idea, and it’s never productive – so don’t do it! To be as productive as you would be in an actual office, you need to create for yourself a form of office space that you can work at and feel entirely productive at.
Ideally, this office space would be a room designated entirely for the practical use of your work. However, not everyone has this luxury, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a clean, quiet part of your living space to convert into somewhere you can actually work from.
Avoid louder, more frequently used areas such as the kitchen or living room – the more people that will be coming in and out of there while you’re working are more people who could (and most likely will) distract you. So maybe pick somewhere a little less frequently visited or used, potentially a spare room or the corner of your own bedroom to get your work done. And avoid your bed like the plague! Make it somewhere to earn at the end of the day, don’t make it somewhere you taint with the stress of work.
Different people will require different needs from their office space – some will want artwork, plants and colorful mementoes to inspire them, while others will want nothing but a desk lamp and their laptop – but ultimately you have to do what’s right for you. As long as you have everything you need on that desk and it works for you, that’s all that matters.
Treat that workspace like you would your desk in an office away from home – look after it. Keep it clean, dusted and organized – put away those files when you’re done with them, chuck your rubbish in the bin after the day is done, wash up that coffee cup.
If at the beginning of the day you know you’ve got a messy desk to turn to, you’re going to find it a lot more challenging to get going, so do yourself a favor by pre-empting that lack of motivation.