Right now, there are thousands more people working from home then there were a few months ago. Some of those people are returning to their office full-time, others on a part-time basis, and others still have been given the option to work from home permanently.
Whether it’s a short- or long-term plan, working from home has its own set of challenges and perks. This is especially true if you’re new to telecommuting.
Here are some ways to make the most of you work-from-home setup:
The hardest part about working from home is that the line between work life and home life has been blurred, if not totally removed.
You can easily fall into a pattern of constantly trying to work and take care of family and home responsibilities. But if you never fully switch gears, then you’re not able to give your full attention to anything.
Create your own boundaries to keep you on track, and to prevent anything really important from falling through the cracks.
You can do this by:
- Creating – and adhering to – strict office hours
- Communicating your work hours to your team and clients
- If you have kids, working with your partner to create family routines that allows everyone to get their work done
- Time blocking your tasks: Creating pockets of time to focus on similar tasks. This could look like reserving a couple mornings a week for meetings, afternoons for focused work time, a couple times per day to check emails, etc.
- Limiting distractions like social media and television
Create a Work Zone for Working from Home
As appealing as working from bed sounds, it’s rarely effective.
Your bed is where you sleep, so when you’re there, your brain thinks it’s time to sleep. (This also goes for the couch, because it’s a place where you usually relax.)
So it’s important to create a space that is dedicated to working. Set up a workspace where you have everything you need to get your work done. It doesn’t have to be a full home office. A small corner with a desk and a chair can be plenty when it comes to creating your work zone.
Communicate Frequently and Effectively
Even if working from home sounds like a dream come true for you, a lack of social interaction and feedback can quickly take its toll. You don’t have the built-in team atmosphere you get with an office; you have to create it.
If you already work with a team, schedule time to check in often. This will give you time to catch up on projects and talk through questions, but it will also help you to feel connected while you’re away from the office.
If you’re a freelancer or started your own business, finding those opportunities for socialization and camaraderie can be more difficult. Try to join online groups and masterminds that allow you to bounce ideas off of others and create that team feeling.
Take Care of Yourself
You’ve probably heard about “self-care” a lot recently, and it’s with good reason. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to quickly fall out of a routine and lose important self-care rituals.
Things like getting dressed for work and getting up at the same time every day signal to your brain that you’re preparing to be in work mode.
Your exercise routine helps you stay mentally alert, calm and happy and physically healthy and energized.
Your weekly dinner with your family helps you all stay connected and is vital for mental health.
These things might have looked different recently, and they might continue to change and evolve. But make sure you are working them into your routine in some capacity. The discipline it takes to keep up with these things is well worth it for your well-being.
Give Yourself Grace
Anything new is going to have an adjustment period.
You might not have child care right now.
You might not have an office to yourself.
Your coworkers aren’t just around the corner or down the hall.
Because you’re in a totally different work environment, you might not be as productive as you were in your office right away.
Give yourself time to try different things and find the routine that works best for you.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes financial resources and coaching should be accessible. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.