Hey hi hello, boss ladies and boss gents! I’ve been working from home for 7 years (WHAT) and there are a lot of pros and cons, but the main difference between working in an office and working at home is that you have complete control over your entiiiire life. This is where some of us thrive, but it’s also where some of us crash and burn, so as always, be honest with yourself about what is and is not working to propel you toward your goals. Luckily, we’ve got 9 tips and tricks to help you work from home like a total boss.
Set up the right space Your space should be efficient, tidy, and designed for your best work. If you need sunlight, set up near a window. If you get distracted easily by people walking by, do not set up near a window. Know yourself, and don’t do what’s comfortable, but do what will actually make you more productive.
Keep your space and your time separate The hardest part about working from home is the meshing of your work life and your home life. Work You and Home You will both be happier and more successful if you keep them separate. Even if you can’t dedicate an entire room for business, create a nook or desk space that is only for work and nothing else. If you’re having to clear work off the dining room table every night, you’ll feel conflicted as if work is getting in the way of your family life or vice versa.
This applies to your time too - when you worked outside the home, there was no stress when the laundry timer went off (you couldn’t even hear it!) so there shouldn’t be any stress about that during your work hours at home either.
Thus, stick to your office hours Try not to do “home” work during office hours so you can stay focused. Then do the “home” work at other times, so your life doesn’t turn into an endless blob of work work and home work at all hours of the day.
Plan out “home” tasks too It’s totally fine if your goal for working from home was to also include more home tasks in your day. If you’d like to get 3 hours of housework done each day, simply change your office hours to reflect that. Say your office hours are 9-3, and you spend 8-9 and 3-5 doing that housework. That way, you know and your clients know when to expect you in the office.
Leave when you need to You may start to notice you haven’t left the house in days sometimes, so we encourage you to get outside at the very least. Walking our dog helps a lot with this, but we also try to get out for lunch or meetings as much as possible. This helps clear your head and remind you that there’s a whole world out there.
Get dressed. Tip 6 sounds silly at first. One of the biggest perks of work from home life is not having to get all gussied up every day, but the simple act of getting dressed for work helps separate the work and home life in your brain, and will remind you to be more productive.
Target your weaknesses We all suck at some things, and when you’re the only one responsible for getting things done, those things we suck at can take over. Brutal honesty is the best policy here - if you’re a terrible procrastinator, schedule your projects to the T. If you get distracted by social media easily, set a timer on your phone (or better yet, leave your phone in the other room). Attack whatever that thing is you suck at before it brings down your business.
Use it to your advantage Sure, it’s important to separate your work and your home life, but it’s also awesome to be able to do what you want all the time. Do some laundry on your lunch break, crank some music up loud, turn the temperature to whatever YOU want, not what those men in wool suits want. If you can hold yourself accountable for getting work done, then working at home has a ton of amazing perks - enjoy it!
And lastly, don’t let yourself get disconnected. Earlier I mentioned not leaving the apartment for a few days, and this is a real thing that happened to me when I was living in a brand new city by myself working from home. I find it happens even now, when I have a roommate, dog, and plenty of friends and family nearby. You may be an introvert who thrives on being independent, but going without human contact has been proven to be detrimental to our health. There are a lot of ways to combat this, including making friends with other work from homers in your area, having calls with friends and colleagues that live elsewhere, scheduling in-person meetings even when you could probably discuss it over the phone, or even just working in a coffee shop one day a week to be around other people. Like I said, working from home is awesome, but not if it negatively impacts your psyche or mental health, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself!
We’d love to hear what you think of our tips for working from home - if you’re just starting out on this journey, we’re so excited for you! There’s nothing like starting your own company to give you a kick in the butt to get things done, but give yourself time to make a few mistakes - you’ll find your rhythm along the way.
If you’re just starting out, you may also want to check out our First 30 Days Workbook, which will set you up on the right path for your business in all areas - from taxes and contracts to branding and SEO - and everything in between. There’s a whole day on setting up your home office to complement this lesson! Do you work from home, and have other tips or questions? Share them by commenting below!