It seems like more people are working from home more than ever before. According to a study conducted by FlexJobs in March 2018, almost 4 million U.S. citizens work from home at least half of the time. That may seem like a very small amount of people, but it’s expected to grow rapidly over time.
People work from home either because they have to, or because they want to. Many have done exactly that for years, but there are more who are just getting their feet wet. You may be someone who’s either started working from home, or are just thinking of doing so for one reason or another. It’s not something that everyone can do- it takes a lot of discipline, focus, and hard work to work from home on a regular basis.
If you’re looking to begin working from home yourself, here are three tips I’ve kept in mind that helped me when I work from home. They could very well work for you, too!
1. Get in a “work” frame of mind
Those who don’t work from home typically believe that those who do so lounge around in their pyjamas all day with unbrushed hair and no makeup on. That can be the case for you- but only if you know you can get work done like that. Some however find that they cannot focus looking like a hot mess. Either is okay.
So if you know that you need help getting into a work frame of mind, get ready for the day like you’d get ready for an in-house job. This can include brushing out your hair, throwing on a light layer of makeup, and/or wearing nicer clothing than your PJs. Do whatever you need to do so that you can focus on getting work done in a timely manner.
2. Keep regular work hours if possible
Depending on the kind of job you have and your current situation away from work (i.e. kids, partner, etc.), your schedule is no doubt jam packed with plenty of things on your To Do list. If it’s not organized on a day-to-day basis, you should very well miss something, or give yourself way too much to do on certain days. Both your work life and personal life will consequently suffer because of this.
Designate the appropriate amount of time needed for you to get work done in a day. Eight straight hours plus a lunch break of sorts is the most popular choice. But the beauty behind working from home is that to a certain extent, you can work whenever you want for however long you want. Want to work eight hours late at night? Sure. Prefer to work for a few hours here and there throughout the day? Go for it! Do whatever works best for your lifestyle, but keep it as consistent as possible. That way, you can have a schedule that works while also balancing your work obligations with the rest of your life.
3. Try not to spend too much time at coffee shops
The stereotype that many people who work from home find themselves working in a Starbucks for some other fancy coffee shop isn’t entirely false. I know because I myself have done it plenty of times before. While I and many others get work done this way, doing this on a regular basis can cost you a lot. This includes time (what with losing time driving to whatever coffee shop you’re going to), money (those coffees are most likely expensive), and calories (not all those drinks are good for you).
Try to work in your own home as much as possible- it’s comforting, and you can make your own coffee in an effort to save money. Having said that, cabin fever is a very real thing that those working from home may run into. Try going to your local library, or working with likeminded people somewhere else. Those options are cheaper while giving you the perfect environment to get work done.
These are just some of the many tips to effectively work at home. Granted, there are plenty more that are out there that make working from home easier. However, the three tips mentioned above are arguably the most important to keep in mind. Working from home isn’t easy- it can be frustrating and terrifying in the beginning. But if you plan to work hard every day, you can certainly do it.