Navigating Working from Home


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You?ve always thought that working from home would be such a breeze but, when tossed into the thick of it, you realize it isn?t all rainbows and lollipops. Working full-time from home can be stressful and complicated, here are a few tips to help you navigate working from home for the first time.

1. Create your space.
Having a designated workspace in your home doesn?t mean that you have to have an office. What it does mean is having a space that is comfortable and quiet with enough space to work productively. Having a designated area for working allows you to be organized and work without having to relocate at each meal. You don?t have to work in this area 100% of the time but setting up a space to work allows you to focus instead of worrying about who needs the area you?re in.

2. Wake up before jumping into things.
So, you?re used to waking up, taking a shower, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, and then getting dressed for the day- working from home doesn?t mean you can?t or shouldn?t do those things. If you know this is what wakes you up, then keep at it. Waking up, however, you do it, is important whether you drive into the office, or walk 50 feet from your bedroom to your homework-space. Personally, I have to get a cup of hot coffee in. If I don?t get that little bit of time to myself in the morning, I don?t feel productive, or at least as productive. 

3. Schedule your time.
A schedule allows you to move from task to task, staying on top of priorities, and remaining productive, despite any hiccups that come your way. This includes setting appropriate working hours. Careful organization allows you to be productive throughout your day without being overwhelmed or feeling like you're lost in your tasks. A good way to do this is by using time blocking. Don?t be afraid to allow yourself breaks. Refill that coffee cup, stretch your legs, go outside for lunch. 

4. Understand the Limitations.
Are there things that you can't do while working from home? Maybe? it really depends on what industry you are in and what your role is. A good way to figure out what can or cannot be done from home is to think through your daily work activities. Does anything you do require on-site items, people, or locations? If so, you may want to discuss how to handle those items while working from home. Understanding that there may be tasks that morph during this time will help focus your working activities and priorities.

5. Shut it down.
Since you already set your working hours, shutting it off should be easy-peasy, right? Not necessarily. Since your work life and home life have now merged into the same arena it can be difficult to draw that line, especially when you are trying to continue doing an excellent job, accomplishing tasks and impressing the boss. BUT not turning it off and having time away from work can actually be more detrimental to your mental health. You need time for yourself, with your family, friends, pets, whoever so that you can rebuild your personal happiness and strength. Self-care anybody? Turning off your computer and putting down the task list, shutting the door to your work-space, and walking away for a period of time can help you recoup from the day.

Whether this time working from home is temporary or permanent, the best thing you can do is make the most of the situation, take it for what it is and learn from it. 

Written By: Phylicia Vallier