We’ve talked before about working from home because, well, we work from home! Whether you’re just starting your business or working from home is just a good fit, a home office isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows.
Working from Home: The Downside
The negative part about working from home – which isn’t top of mind for people when they talk about it – is that it’s easy to fall into some very bad habits. From excess procrastination to depression to loneliness, there’s a whole host of problems that come from working from home over an office.
The good news is: if you work at it, you can make working from home work for you.
How to Make Working From Home Work for You
Just like many things in life, working from home is going to have different challenges for different people. To be successful at it, it’s critical that you determine some key factors that are going to work for you.
So let’s get down to it…how do you make working from home work for you?
To office or not to office?
For many people, it’s important to have a dedicated workspace in order to work from home. Whether it’s a separate desk/work area or entirely different room, a specific work area is important not only to think clearly and free of distractions, but also a place to house your business-related documents, phone, computer, etc.
However, there are also people like me who don’t work as well in a dedicated space. Since I really only need my lap top to work, I prefer being able to move around. I’ll work on the kitchen table, the couch, or even set up a pseudo office at a local coffee house.
Routine or planned days?
For some, the same regimen or routine each day is important. From specific office hours to dedicated lunch times to even dedicated meeting times, a routine keeps you in check and keeps you accountable (which is another crucial downfall of working from home).
For others – like me – I just need to plan my days. I love having the flexibility of no specific schedule; that I can run errands for the afternoon when I need to, or stop to have lunch with a girlfriend. However, it is important I still plan my day out and get in a full work day.
Social lunches or networking?
Staying social and getting out of the house are another factor that affects those who work from home in different ways. More introverted people may thrive on the alone time, but it’s still important to get out every once in a while.
Whether you take lunches with friends, do in-person meetings regularly, or go to a few networking events per week, make sure you mix it up, get out of the house, and see people in person.
As an example, one of the rules I have for myself is that I have to leave the house once a day. Whether it’s to go to the gym, go grocery shopping, go out to dinner…whatever it is, I have to leave the house.
No matter how you make working from home work for you, the goals are similar: to shut off the distractions, stay social, keep a routine, and be accountable. If you can accomplish those, you can make working from home work.