Working from home is the new black.
As the world’s marketplace continues to expand, more and more careers are going digital, giving more workers in a variety of fields the option to have a mobile office.
But working from home comes with obstacles…mainly staying focused and maintaining a work/life balance.
Here are our top tips on how to make it happen:
Remind Your Family That You’re at Work
If you were working a traditional 9 to 5, it’s unlikely that you attempting to complete your work during those times would frustrate your family. However, as soon as you set up an office at home, many spouses, roommates, and children think that because they’re not at work, you shouldn’t be either.
One of the most important things about working from home is establishing boundaries with the people who share your living space. Small things to get started would be to always knock before entering your office, keeping their voice down while you are on the phone, and not to come ask you things that they wouldn’t phone you at work to ask you.
For example, if your 16-year-old daughter needs to know where her black sneakers are, would she call your office and speak to the front desk to get connected to you to ask about them, or would she just look for them herself?
Respect Your Workspace
It’s hard to get things done if you don’t have the right equipment.
So, if you intend to have a home office, then you need to properly set one up. You’ll need at least a laptop computer and a dedicated spot (that is NOT in your bedroom!) to work from.
Optional extras are a printer, extra monitor for productivity, and a scanner. Sometimes, if you can’t purchase these things at the very beginning, you can work from your local library and use the equipment there.
Another option is to join a local co-working space to boost productivity and have access to more traditional office facilities.
Most people working from home wouldn’t be able to survive without some sort of task management system. There are plenty to choose from (our favorite is Asana!), but breaking down each of your projects into smaller, more bite size chunks will help you stay on task.
That said, you also need to:
Schedule Your Day
One of the best things about being a person who works from home is the ability to set your own schedule. But your still need to set one!
When you have a home office, the lines between office work and housework can often be blurred. To manage this, most who work from home have to work to completely separate the two, or merge them gracefully.
For example, there is always laundry to be done. Worker A might have a strict schedule that doesn’t allow him to touch laundry until after 5PM, while Worker B might put on a load and race to finish a draft of his proposal before the spin cycle, just to keep him on track.
You can do whatever works for you; just stick to it.