Working from home sounds fun. But it isn’t. Unless you do it right, that is. Take my friend Gary, for example, who is a self-employed web designer. He wasn’t always self-employed, but recently made the switch and that’s why he’s a perfect example of the things I want to highlight. He told me that the biggest hurdle to working from home is the loss of ‘waking up’ time that would normally be spent on the commute. Not everybody arrives at the office bright eyed and bushy tailed, but you’re a lot more awake having navigated into work than you would be if you’d only had to find your way from your sleepy pillow to your laptop in the next room. His advice? Get started right away. Don’t think for a moment that factoring in a half hour to wake up will help. It won’t, apparently. With no vigour in your step to get dressed and get moving, any time wasted sitting around will just make you more lethargic. Wake up. Open your laptop. Crack on. Otherwise you’ll pay the price. Working from home doesn’t sound so great after all, huh? Let’s look at other tips for working from home.
Treat your home work space like you would treat a real office
Sitting in your pyjamas with your laptop perched on a breakfast counter while you sip at coffee and move a spoon around in a bowl of cereal is no way to get going. You need a close to life-like office setup. You need a dedicated space. A desk. A chair. Dual screens if you can afford it. A printer (make sure you’re well stocked on ink – there’s no one else to keep on top of these things for you when you work from home, see https://www.printerinks.com/11/2p-n-011/inkjet-and-toner-cartridges/xerox/). You need filing space for paperwork, link in-and-out trays. You need a separate storage device for daily backups in case your laptop fails and you lose all of your work. You need a way to communicate with colleagues that removes the fussiness of email and doesn’t mean constant video calls either (for example, see Slack). Once this is all in place, you stand a chance.
Structure your day
In an office environment, remaining motivated is easy because the chatter of the day keeps everyone in the loop with where tasks are up to and what is required of them. This person needs you to have a file sent over by 11AM, for example, and that person needs your help on a task at 2PM. But at home, this chatter falls largely silent. Look at your tasks and note down time frames. This will help to structure your day in a way that will prevent you working late.
•This is a contributed post*