The Post College Professional

How to Successfully Work from Home

Posted by Michelle McGuire on Aug 01, 2018

Tags: Early career advice

The day is finally here. Whether you’re experiencing working from home freedom for the first time or just landed a remote job, your home and office are one. You now control your accountability, schedule, workstation, and even work outfit. Wondering how it’s possible to stay productive? The key is to resist those temptations at home (looking at you Netflix) and instead create your ideal working from home environment. Try these productivity hacks to maximize your working from home workflow:

Play pretend: Arguably one of the hardest parts of working at home is setting your schedule. It can be really tempting to continue hitting the snooze button or to accidentally start a Netflix marathon in the middle of the day. Try writing out your own schedule before you start your day and block off time in your calendar to get things done, even if it’s a “meeting” of just you. If working from home is going to be a regular occurrence, try setting work rules like preparing your meals ahead of time or limiting any TV to just lunchtime.

Find your work happy place: For introverts, working from home can be absolute bliss. For extroverts, it can seem like torture. Listen to how you’re feeling at home and find the right setting that works for you. Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean it has to be from your actual home. Try out local coffee shops, libraries, or other spaces with free Wi-Fi. Just being out in public might be all you need to get in the right workflow when you feel your productivity dipping.

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Set the mood: Spending all day working from bed sounds really appealing until you take an accidental nap and wonder where the afternoon went. Having a dedicated workstation at home can help you seamlessly shift from play mode to work mode. Ideally this workstation isn’t in your bedroom, but not everyone has a separate nook they can use as a home office. Wherever you are, just make sure you can sit upright and be free of distractions. You can also set the mood once you’re there with music, a podcast, or whatever makes you concentrate best.

Communicate: Working from home often times means you spend the whole day by yourself. This can drive those of us who are social crazy over the course of the day. Fight the loneliness by staying connected to your coworkers via Slack, Skype, or whatever messaging platform your company uses to both check in on work and stay in touch. If you’re a company of one try texting friends during the day or becoming a regular at a coffee shop for a little extra social contact.

Dress for success: To sweatpants or not to sweatpants? This is one of the most controversial working from home topics out there. Should you dress for success like you’re heading to work or dress for comfort since you have an office of one? This can depend a lot on personal preference and motivation. If you find your motivation lacking during the day, try getting up and getting ready like you’re going to work to see if that puts you in the right mood. If not, you can always try out sweatpants life (we all know work clothing sometimes lacks in comfort) and see if you still feel productive. One final tip to those of us who prefer relaxation style: always check to see if the call on your calendar is a video call before you’re caught in your college sweatshirt with bedhead.

Take a break: When you’re in the office you probably take a short walk, go get coffee, or check in on a coworker. You can do these things at home too! Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t emerge from your house until 6 PM or keep your step count to 100 for the day. Make sure you’re taking breaks that are beyond walking to the refrigerator to stay sane and fight feeling stir crazy

Log off: Finally, remember to log off at the end of your workday. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7. Your sanity and productivity will thank you.

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