A little over three months ago I got a job as an editorial consultant for an ethical digital media communications company. While that probably definitely sounds weird or maybe makes you go “soooo that means…..?”, it’s actually a lot like teaching and draws quite a bit from my personal and professional background, except for like….well paid, and steady. Things I enjoy, believe me! Giving people guidance on how to communicate better, editing written works, helping people becoming more comfortable with their own abilities-that’s my full time gig now. Very wordy! I’ll maybe write about that more some other time, but now is not that time.
Up until last week I was working from home most of the time, and it brought to mind that there are some things that one should keep in mind if they are working from home. From my experience anyway!
So here are five tips that I should really seriously listen to when I’m working from home. A handful of wisdom from me to you other “work from home” types.
-Have a regular schedule. Yeah, you can roll out of bed at 8:45 to start work at 9 in your jim jams, but that’s probably not going to feel very good day after day. I like to wake up early, get my work out in, then eat breakfast and chill with my coffee while chatting with Jon before he leaves for work, and THEN, eventually, starting work at 9. It’s a relaxing start to the work day. And really beats virtually any commute you could have.
-Make a designated “work space” for yourself. This one is a little more “do as I say, not as I do” as my home office has still not come to fruition (although I have some kickass stuff picked out on Ikea, in case you were wondering!) But as it is, I know where I work best from in my house, and when I get in that position,it flicks a little brain switch that makes me feel like I’m in the zone.
-Take advantage of the situation. This is a big one. What’s so great about working from home if you treat it exactly like an office? One of my favorite parts of working from home is probably either getting in a lunchtime workout if I slept too late, or watching an episode of Charmed on Netflix while I eat lunch. Neither of which can be done from a cubicle. And let’s face it-if I’m a few minutes late, who is around to tell me so and write it down on some secret office file? No one. Yeah.
-Take a break. It’s easy to feel like you wake up, chug some coffee, start work, aren’t getting things done, and then whoops, it’s three in the afternoon and you haven’t eaten real food. (This normally doesn’t happen to me, I love food, but things happen sometimes). So set a timer and get your ass off the couch/desk chair/bed every hour or so. Walk around, step outside, take the pooch for a walk around the block, and enjoy the fact that you don’t spend forty hours a week in a sad box. You are one of the lucky ones, my friend. Cherish it.
-Change your clothes, ya filthy animal. No but seriously, writing in your pajamas or gym clothes is probably not a great thing. This goes back to flippin’ the ol brain switch. Gym clothes=sweaty gym time, pajamas=sleep time, a clean shirt and some skinny jeans (or whatever you’re into)=work time. But fuck shoes, who needs ’em? Not you, you’re working in your house!
Now keep in mind that I have been working from home as part of a full time job where the few other people I work with are also working at the same time. This is not the same as freelancing, hence no tips such as “work at a time that feels right to you” or whatever else you evening owls may be interested in. This is more about being part of a team, but working remotely. Slightly different. But I think a lot of the same rules apply, and I hope you find it helpful.
Is there anything I missed? What helps you feel efficient/productive/happy when you’re working from home?