Tips for Working from Home Efficiently
With so many people working out of their homes these days, I thought I'd compile a few of my tips for working from home efficiently! I've been working from home for years now; first just a few days a week back when I was practicing law, and more recently as a full-time blogger, on this and my travel blog, Pints, Pounds, & Pâté.
So what are my top tips for being productive and efficient from home? Set-up that home office, and let's check dig in!
1. Keep normal hours
Many people's initial instinct when they start working from home is that they can "work whenever they want." While there is definitely more flexibility in a working-from-home arrangement, the unfortunate reality is that working at random times isn't the "dream" you may have anticipated. Depending on the type of work you do, this can often lead to just working all the time - perhaps even more than if you were "at work" versus "checking in from home" after hours.
As best you can, pick some "working" hours, and clock off when you normally would.
2. Get dressed
Though you don't have to do it precisely at 7:45 AM, be sure to get dressed everyday. This is less controversial now than it used to be, with the increase in Zoom and Teams meetings meaning that you're more visible than ever, even from home! But even if you won't be seeing anyone, being dressed wakes you up, puts you in the work mindset, and sets the tone for the rest of your day!
One of the biggest changes about not going to the office can be the interruption to your exercise routine. Whether you visited the gym at work, walked at lunch, or even walked to the office, being at home all day can often take your step count down to a very unhealthy level.
Set aside time before or after work, several times a week, to get in that workout like you normally would.
4. Take breaks
Without coworker interruptions and in-person meetings, many people find they're more glued to their desks at home than in the office. And, throughout the day, don't forget to get up and walk around, even if you don't have a coworker's desk to drop by!
5. Set aside a special space
It's so important to have a workplace where you can have privacy. Preferably, a home office or second bedroom. But, if those aren't options, carve out a portion of the basement/ kitchen table that is *yours:* where you can leave your stuff, and where you won't be disturbed. If you are looking to decorate your
home office, check out Our 6 Home Office Decor Ideas for Women.
6. Buy the supplies you need
If you'll be working from home for an extended period, invest in the supplies you know you will need, such as a functioning printer. It will save you a lot of frustration down the road, as you settle in.
7. Take time to do chores throughout the day
One advantage of being home is being able to do "housework" throughout the day, rather than all before or after being at the office. But, don't let house demands overwhelm your work. Put in a load of laundry, or use one of those breaks to unload the dishwasher. But remember, you don't "need" to get more home tasks done than you would on a normal day - it's just not all at night now!
8. Remind family members about work demands
It can be hard for family members who aren't used to having you home to respect that you are still "at work." Set visiting times or break times to help them get used to leaving you alone to get your work done.
9. Chat with coworkers
If you can, touch base with your corkers like you normally would at the office. See how they're doing and get some person-to-person interaction!
10. Don't be too hard on yourself
Working from home, especially on short notice, can be very different from your work in the office. Communication difficulties and issues on the home front can lead to a lot of changes. Give yourself a chance to get used to it!