I'm half-way through week two of working from home. While the brand new Lemonly headquarters is being constructed, we lemonheads are working remotely. The verdict? It's lovely as long as I lay down some ground rules. In the eight days I have spent working from home, this is what I've discovered:
1. Define your workspace.
Create an area in your home that you can use specifically as an office. There should be a definite separation between where you work and live. I live in a loft, so I don't have a ton of extra unused space, but luckily we recently rearranged and found the perfect little nook by the window. Just make sure you have all of your basics and only use this space for work.
2. Make it look nice.
You should enjoy your work space, after all that's where you are going to spend most of your day. Go ahead and decorate, add a few plants, and purchase some pretty office supplies. Just don't overdo it. A cluttered desk slows down productivity and adds mental stress to your day. Not sure how to start? I created an office Pinterest board for ideas when I'm in a rut.
Note: It doesn't hurt to have a fuzzy co-worker to keep you company as well.
3. Write a to-do list.
One of the downsides of working from home is that it can be easy to get distracted. In order to avoid the temptation to clean or do laundry (seriously, these are my weaknesses) start your morning by making a list of things you want to get done that day. I like to use my 8 For the Day notebook, created by our CEO, John Meyer, made specifically for writing and checking off eight to-dos a day. The idea may sound simple, but it works.
4. Set office hours.
If you work for a company, they may set your hours for you, just make sure you follow them. When working from home the lines between work and free time become blurry. It's easy to find yourself absent-mindedly working through lunch, or late into the evening. If you have a deadline and need to finish a project, by all means go full-force, but your average days need a definite end point.
5. Get ready for the day.
When I go to work at Lemonly's headquarters, I give myself ample time to shower, get ready, take out my dog, eat breakfast, walk to work, etc. Since I've been working from home, that time has been drastically reduced. It's difficult to fight the temptation to just roll out of bed and into my desk chair, but shower I must. You don't have to get dressed up and put on makeup, but the essential shower and change of clothes goes a long way. I find the process and result of getting ready in the morning wakes me up and prepares me for the day.
Cheers to many more days of productivity at the home office!