Working from home can sound like a thrilling novelty. Imagine rolling out of bed whenever you feel like it, grabbing your morning coffee, opening your laptop on the couch and starting your day, all without ever taking off your pjs. It sounds amazing right? It’s not all fun and games though. In fact, if you find yourself suddenly faced with a job that allows you to work from home, the above scenario is exactly what you don’t want to do. Instead, you still need to act like you are getting up heading to work, because that is exactly what you are doing.
First of all comes your dress code. Although it may be tempting to remain in your pajamas all day because you can, you need to approach your attire logically. Remaining in your most comfy clothes is likely to make you feel sleepy and sluggish. When you are wearing this type of loungewear, it puts you in the mindset that it is time to relax and you don’t want to start a day of work with this thought in mind. In order to be productive, you need to feel productive. This means waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed and maybe running a brush through that bedhead. You don’t, of course, need to put on a suit or accessorize to the max but you do want to feel somewhat professional and ready to face the day. If you remain in the pjs from last night, you will more likely feel ready to face Netflix and snuggle with your pillows which is not likely to inspire good work ethic.
Scheduling is another key factor in productively working from home. It is great that you can set your own hours and remain flexible but you need to make sure that you do still keep some type of set hours. Before you start your first day of work, write out a schedule that you want to keep. Annotate times including when you will actually start working, when you will stop for your lunch break, the time you will complete work and any other important times you need to keep track of. Take that schedule and hang it up somewhere where you will be constantly reminded of it, preferably above the desk you work at. Go ahead and take your time with creating your schedule. Make it pretty, add some swirly writing, this schedule is the key to making your stay at home job work for you. Once that schedule is up, stick to it. Treat it like the timetable a boss would give you on your first day at any other job. Set your alarm to give yourself enough time to get up and ready and sit yourself down to work at the time posted on the schedule. You have to treat this like an office job or you will be all to likely to wander to the kitchen for a snack when you are bored or go out and run some errands in the middle of the afternoon. Sticking to your schedule may sound like a pain, but it will keep you on track in the long run. That being said, you do have possible flexibility. In extenuating circumstances you can, of course use this flexibility in your day to get something done or help out a friend but this should not become the norm. Allow yourself a little freedom if it’s really necessary but other than that, be your own boss and make sure that you abide by that schedule.
The entire intrigue of working from home is that you don’t have to go to the office. That being said, it is not entirely true. You should not be doing your work in your bedroom or your kitchen. These are the places you go to to relax at the end of the day, to make your dinner or read in bed. They are not conducive to sticking to a schedule and getting work done so save yourself the hassle and don’t try to make them your main work space. Instead, find yourself an office at home. This doesn’t need to be a whole room of its own, it can be as simple as a desk in the corner of the living room, but it needs to be something that is definitely separated from the rest of your at home activities. Not only are you more likely to stick to your schedule and get work done if you have an office area set aside, you will also be thankful when your work day is over. After all, when you finish your day at a normal job, it feels great to be able to get back home and relax. You want to maintain that feeling of happiness you get when you are able to get up from your office area and head to your bedroom to relax. If you do all your work in your bedroom, you suddenly find yourself trapped in your office even after your work is completed.
Working from home can be a wonderful opportunity but if it is your first time doing so, there are a few traps you have got to be cautious of. In order to be successful, you have to keep in mind that you still have a job and it must be treated as such. By getting up and ready for work like you are leaving the house, making a defined schedule and sticking to it, and having an office area set aside to work in, not only will you get the perks of working at home, you will also be much more likely to be successful in doing so. If you are in need of some quick reminders of what not to do while working from home, take a peek at this list of tips as told by a very unproductive pug who you do not want to end up like.