CAREER: TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
This month will be my two year anniversary of working from home. Not only do I work on my blog from home, I transitioned into a remote job with my company. As much as I was excited to gain more flexibility during the workday and to travel, I have to admit I was worried about working 100% from home with no office to travel to. I told myself that I would give it two years and if I hated it, I would ask my company if I could have an office in their Raleigh location. Luckily, and a surprisingly, I absolutely love working from home. I think I've really found my groove and have adjusted to working from home. Now, I don't think I would ever want to go into the office again. Today I'm sharing some tips for working from home!
Tip No. 1 Choose a designated workspace: As soon as I moved into a work from home position, I started planning my home office. In my previous apartment and my new place, I had a home office. The biggest issue I hear people complain about when they work from home is the lack of separation between work and home. If you have a separate, designated office space, it's much easier to feel like you are "going to work" even if it's a few feet away.
Tip No. 2 Choose a schedule (and stick to it!): My company has core hours between 9am-3pm, meaning we only have to be online and reachable during that window. Some of my coworkers start at 6am and log off at 3pm and some start at 9pm and log off at 6pm. I realized very early on that I need to set a schedule and stick to it. This way I don't end up working until 10pm every night, although the job sometimes calls for it. I tell people it's hard to logoff when you work from home. The time really does get away from you. With a hard stop time, I can make sure I have time for blogging and my family.
Tip No. 3 Dress up: This is a big struggle for me believe it or not. There are a few days where I wake up and I just want to throw on workout clothes and log onto my computer. This is a far cry from someone who loved getting dressed up for work when she had to go into the office. Over the last few months, I make sure I get up and get ready just like I would if I had to go to work. I'm not in a full suit but I do try and throw on jeans and a nice top. It also helps if I have to run out unexpectedly, since I don't want to look like a complete bum.
Tip No. 4 Get out of the house: When I first starting working from home, I think I got into the best shape of my life. I was so desperate for human interaction after being in the house all day, so I went to the gym daily, sometimes twice a day! As much as I love not being bothered by people walking by my desk, it is hard not having a coworker to chat with. Before, I would hate to go to the gym and talk to anyone after work. Now it might be one of the only times I get to get out of the house during the day so I cherish it.
Tip No. 5 Change it up: You don't have to take work from home literally. Some days when I just want a change of scenery, I will head to a local coffee shop to get work done and get a bite to eat. Sometimes changing it up just involves me taking my laptop to another room in my house to work so I don't get bored.
Tip No. 6 Get involved: It's hard to care about your team or your company when you are so removed from it. We have an annual face-to-face meeting and I really value it. When you get to meet your coworkers, managers and staff in person, it changes the entire dynamic. I have made a conscious effort to get involved and connect with my coworkers more often.
I hope these tips were helpful for those of you who work remotely. I really enjoy it.