For many people, the idea of working from home is alluring. Think of the perks: no commute, no rush hour, no last minute drive-through breakfasts, and more say over your daily routine. However, working remotely does present a unique set of challenges. In the absence of a traditionally structured office environment, it’s up to you to build your own work routine from the ground up. This gives you the power to maximize your workday, and with the right mindset, you can become a work-from-home expert in no time.
Implement these four steps to start your journey to work-from-home success.
1. Set up a functional home office.
A tidy and comfortable work space can help you achieve your professional goals. You don’t have to dedicate an entire room to your office space - get creative! A bedroom alcove or even a spacious closet will suffice. Location aside, your workspace should encourage productivity. Choose a comfy chair and good lighting, hang pictures or quotes that inspire you, and put a list of your goals by your desk. Keep non-work-related items away from your workspace, and take breaks in another area of your home to help your mind associate your “work zone” with productivity and your “relax zone” with rest.
2. Design your ideal routine.
Successfully working from home requires you to be self-motivated, driven, and organized in an entirely new way. With more flexibility in your schedule, it’s easy to overwork or underwork if you’re not mindful. Your work-from-home routine should help you capitalize on the times of day when you have the most energy, and should incorporate scheduled breaks and regular mealtimes. To help you plan (and stick to!) your routine, use a task prioritization system that works for you. It can be as simple as a set of sticky notes, a traditional planner, one of the many digital programs available, or a combination of systems. Check our blog post “Time management and how to master it” for top tips to master your time effectively.
3. Keep isolation at bay.
There’s a lot of built-in social interaction in traditional work environments, and it's something a lot of us took for granted before the pandemic made remote work more commonplace. It’s helpful to check in with your supervisor and coworkers regularly to collaborate on work projects, but it’s also just important to stay in touch with like-minded people. Having a strong network also means having a strong support and accountability system which can be vital to your work production. When you’re reaching out, don’t rely too much on emails - make sure to schedule regular phone or video calls with your professional contacts to maintain good working relationships and keep your social batteries charged.
4. Dress professionally
When you picture working from home, the first thing that comes to your mind might be the opportunity to wear pajamas and comfy slippers to your desk, but beware! The lines between your work life and your home life can get blurry if you let them. Consider keeping some of your get-ready-for-work habits in place: fix your hair and put on an outfit your mind associates with working. You don’t have to wear a suit or dress, but keeping your work-from-home attire business casual is another simple technique to keep yourself motivated and stay on task.
For more work-from-home tips and more, follow us on Instagram and Facebook @firstpickva.
Author: Camryn Pickworth
As the head VA and owner of The First Pick VA Group I have found such great joy in sharing my experiences and top tips with other freelancers and aspiring VA's. I hope that our blog can service as a great reference for VA's and Clients alike!