The thought of home-based work never actually crossed my mind until I started doing it. Like most of us I was usually working from an office building, the one with ridiculous amount of floors which takes several elevator stopovers just to get to a sandwich for lunch. But now, since my home is my work space a sudden realization of the change does not come as easy as I expected.
Don’t get me wrong, there are numerous benefits like, the money spent on dry cleaning – gone, cramming into public transport with 100 other people in the morning – double gone, but hanging out with friends from office (we all have at least one) – also gone. There is also the fact that one can only spend so much time confined in the same space before something snapping inside him or her.
For this reason I have spent my last month diligently investigating and interviewing anybody I know that works from home, including myself, on their routines and little rituals that get them through the day.
1. Begin with some outdoor time
There are those who workout after they finished their daily routine to get the stress out of their system, but I like to start my day with some stretching if I am going to be sitting for the better part of the day. I usually do a run after I get up, which is also useful for getting your morning coffee on the way back. After that I spend some time stretching on the roof, enjoying the morning.
2. Try wearing jeans
I have a confession to make that I might have ‘borrowed’ this tip from Jessica Knoll, the author of Luckiest Girl Alive. She advised me to try wearing jeans when working from home and I must admit that it caught on with me. There is something about them that makes my mind more focused on the work, it might be a sense of wearing a ‘work uniform’, or it might be something else, I’m not entirely sure myself.
3. Be consistent with when you begin your work and make sure that your work space is in a good shape
The main benefit of working from home is the absence of judgmental looks if you decide on a lazy day and start working a bit later then usual. The bad thing is that too much fluctuation in this part can really take a toll on your productivity. Keeping your workspace clean is equally as important, as nothing can be more distracting than a pile of dirty dishes or random clutter on your desk. Clean your desk before working and you will see a miraculous rise in productivity.
1. Clear up the mess
Since you are spending you next 8 hours mostly glued to your desk, it is no wonder that all sorts of random things are going to start appearing on it. Take some time mid-day to clean up all the plates, mugs and what-not to take a breather from work and stretch a little. And it is also a good thing to add some personal touches to your workspace to freshen it up. A little color never hurt anybody.
2. Use Gchat
The more time I spent working in the office, the less I wanted to have anything to do with Gchat. I just thought that with all the meetings and random talks with coworkers, spending time of Gchat would look like slacking off. But since I started working from home, I miss the social interaction and tend to use Gchat more often for casual chats or just asking my coworkers on opinions when needed. It also helps to keep me socially functioning after 8 hours of working on my own.
3. Take a short walk every now and then
Your legs can start cramping out after sitting for a long time. It is usually a good thing to take a short 30 minute walk midway through your work day to get the blood circulating again and to get yourself some fresh air.
End of the day
1. Make sure your fridge is in good shape
Going into your last hours of work you sure are going to need some energy boost. Nobody can make sure you have the necessary things for a good snack but you. Make sure to pay a visit to your local grocery store every weekend to restock on supplies and maybe some espresso to get you through a tough day.
2. Make sure you end your work appropriately
As much as having a consistent starting time it is equally as important to have an ending time as well. It doesn’t matter how you do it, a simple gesture as closing your laptop can work just fine. This will allow you to subconsciously detach your mind from work and let it rest and deal with personal life instead.
3. Have a social life
When working in an office, all day you are thinking about rushing to your home, taking off that uniform and chill for the rest of the day on your couch. It seems that when you spend most of your day in your home, you are much less prone to ‘chilling’ and crave some human interaction after the end of the work-day. It’s actually a huge benefit since you stay fresh from working from home and can later use that energy to plan out weekend events for you and your friends.