I know many of you are work from home warriors like me, and many of you have just been thrust into this new lifestyle. These are my tips for working from home, from most obvious to least.
This advice falls apart in one massive way if you are working at home, and your spouse is working at home, and your kids are home. In that case, take what you can use and leave the rest.
Keep a schedule - I am at my desk every morning at 7:00 am. That's 8 am for HQ, and I try to keep a regular work schedule that aligns with the rest of my co-workers.
Get dressed - Some of my friends who work at home swear by jammies and slippers. I dress in business casual attire, just the same as my co-workers at HQ.
Have a dedicated workspace - This is easier said than done. I have an office at home, but I realize having to set up something temporary may be more difficult. Try and carve out a little space you can call your office.
Tell everyone in your house you're off to work - While I may come out of my office during the day to eat, grab a coffee, or chat, I always tell my family goodbye when I "leave" for the office. This is something that helps me understand that I am changing into work mode rather than being in home mode.
Embrace the video conference - I am on video conference every day sometimes for hours, depending on our meeting schedule. It is so much easier than a phone call because I can see everyone and read the room. It also keeps me connected to everyone I work with even though we are hundreds of miles apart.
It's okay to chat about personal stuff - We frequently start meetings with a little catchup just like we would if we were all in the office. How was your weekend? How are the kids? A short watercooler conversation isn't going to kill productivity but can boost morale.
Get ready for interruptions - we have all seen the video of the kid walking into the television broadcast, and that is a regular occurrence in my house. I can pull my door shut, but the kids often walk in when I am chatting with a client or staff. Amazingly it never bothers me when this happens to others, but I always find it embarrassing. (Something I am learning to embrace.)
Shut down at the end of the day - You don't have a commute anymore. That was very difficult for me, with no transition time it took me a while to adjust to home life, my mind was somewhere between work and home. I have a wind-down process at the end of the day. I recommend listening so some music, meditating, or catching up on a podcast; this way, you can make that transition a little easier.
I wish you good luck if you are transitioning to home, it may take a little while to feel comfortable, but with some practice, you may learn to love it.
- Austin Karr,