Tips for Working from Home
- by Tanya Thompson
- Mar 31, 2020
- 5 min read
For the most part, I’ve been working from home since 2015, and I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future. Even before 2015, I often worked remotely, so I was no stranger to working from home once I made the switch.
So, do I like it? I don’t just like it. I love it. I made the decision to quit my job in 2014, so that I could spend more time with my daughter. Working from home and for my own company gives me the flexibility I need.
However, even though I’d oftentimes worked from home over the years, making the switch was not easy. My husband thinks it’s because I’m quite disciplined and very motivated in making my businesses successful.
Regardless, it took me time to adjust. One of the first things I wrestled with was creating my own home office. Where would I sit? This varies for me depending on the time of the year. It could be on my favourite sofa, a dining table, or anywhere there is sun during the winter. What would I sit on? I spent ages searching for the right standing desk, but eventually resorted to standing for an hour or two per day at our kitchen island. Bear in mind that I haven’t done that for a while, at least not in the last year.
I also had to consider the loneliness of it all, and my tendency to work at all hours to the detriment of my health. I also had requests from my husband to take into consideration, to take care of one errand or the other, e.g., to pick up his dry cleaning. Plus, I’ve had to learn to put aside time to make the dinner, clean the house, and take care of the garden. And, my husband is constantly pushing me to exercise and get out of the house.
However, the biggest struggle I had to overcome was learning how to balance my workload with the care I needed to provide for my daughter. She comes first. As a result, I’ve had to get used to stopping my work mid-stream regardless of the level of completeness I’ve accomplished, so that I can go grab her from school. Furthermore, she has a lot of extra-curricular activities. Consequently, I’ve had to get used to coping with a shorter work day, or working additional hours at nights or early mornings when she’s asleep in bed. In addition, she still needs a lot of guidance because of her age. Therefore, she’s now with me during her school breaks, interrupting my work when I’m deep in thought, or in the middle of meetings. What’s not to love?
Even so, despite all the time that has passed, I still haven’t gotten it right. But, I’ve learned to roll with the punches. As many of you are quickly learning this month with the introduction of COVID19, working from home comes with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. For me, I’ve now had to deal with the addition of homeschooling to my schedule, and the stress of having both my husband and my daughter at home all day long. It’s been fun, I swear.
Hear are some tips that I live by:
- Setup office in a well-ventilated and well-lit area, with enough space for you to perform your job.
- Get a comfortable chair.
- Get all the equipment and technology you need (e.g., for staying in touch with colleagues and clients).
- Create a routine and stick to it.
- Be disciplined.
- Find ways to keep yourself motivated.
- Stay away from social media channels during the times you’ve set aside for work, unless you’re using them for your work.
- Get out of your night clothes.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Start your day by rehydrating, with a nice cup of tea or some water.
- Drink water often, if only by taking sips at a time.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Get some Vitamin D and fresh air by going for a walk or run each day.
- Set aside time for relaxing, especially if you tend to work at all hours.
- Join one or more social and/or voluntary groups, if you’re feeling isolated.
- Attend events with like-minded business persons, to extend your network and learn about new business opportunities, changes in your industry, and tips and advice on how to find work.
- Eat healthily and don’t binge eat because you’ve easy access to the food in your house.
- Engage in some form of exercise.
- Avoid the use of video during conference calls, if you’ve a child roaming around, unless you’ve no other choice.
- Remember to use mute, when you’re pleading with your child on a call.
- Find a spot to hide during the COVID19 lockdown, if you're husband is constantly telling your daughter to play pranks on you.
Enjoy, whenever you decide to take the plunge for good.
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