Working from home can be freeing! No more commute, no heels or hard soled shoes necessary, you control the radio, and you might even have some new furry co-workers. All pretty awesome benefits. On the other hand, working from home also has its own sources of stress; its easy to lose track of time, routines might get thrown out the window, and there are distractions everywhere you look. If you started working remotely within the past few years, you might still be figuring out a balance, structure, and schedule that doesn’t make you feel like you’re constantly at the office, or working on your day off. We truly believe you can have the best of both worlds—just ask our assistants!
Here are our tips for getting the most out of working remotely:
Keep track of your time
Since it can become so easy for your office and personal time to blend, it’s important to create a breakdown of your weekly schedule for your own reference. Block out your time and be specific: include your morning routine, breaks and meals, any regularly scheduled meetings, and time designated for different projects.
On top of a general weekly schedule, plan out your days. Things can and will change, but if you step into work with a plan you’re more likely to get those tasks done.
Then, once you feel comfortable with it, you can make your calendar visible to others (or offer a calendly link) to make scheduling a breeze.
And finally, guard your time by marking yourself on or offline—most email services provide this feature and it can be a good way to start and end your work routine!
Stick to Your Routines: Morning, Afternoon, and Evening!
It may seem convenient to roll out of bed and immediately go sit at your desk, but you’re setting yourself up for a day that isn’t your own. Take the time to wake up early, go on a walk or exercise, spend time with your family, play with your dog, read a book, meditate, eat a meal (not at your desk!) and enjoy your time before you start work.
Act like you’re going into the office— get dressed, make your coffee, turn on your chosen playlist and timer, mark yourself online, and sit down for a productive day of work.
In general, make sure you’re taking your breaks—away from your desk! If you were at the office, you’d most likely get up throughout the day to grab a snack, coffee, or to get the blood moving. If it’s a nice day, get out of the house by going on a walk or eating lunch outside.
When your day is done go offline, close your laptop, and step away from your work area. Unfortunately, evening routines are more likely to be rolled over by work, but they are vital for a good night’s sleep which, ultimately, sets you up for another successful day!
Not all home offices are built equally—some are spacious and private, while others are a quaint corner of the dining room. If you don’t have a door to close, try to find a calm, quiet, and private space where you can be free of distractions and other people in your house.
It may seem tempting to work from your bed or on your couch because you can, but you’ll be far less productive than if you are in a designated space built for you to do your best work.
If you find yourself getting sidetracked by home tasks too often, try a co-working space, coffee shop, or library for a few days of the week. This is also great if you’re in need of some more collaborative energy buzzing around you while you work.
Ultimately, working remotely should allow you the flexibility and freedom to work in a way that best inspires you. And while there are plenty of learning curves, taking the time to set your routine, find your space, and own your schedule will bring back the structure and balance of an office with all the benefits of working from home.