3 Top Tips For Working From Home

3 Top Tips For Working From Home
[Katy Horst]

I love working from home.

I can create my own schedule, my lunch break consists of switching out a load of laundry or a quick walk around the block. I never thought that I’d be that person who would enjoy being a homebody most of the day, but I have to say it’s one the best decisions I ever made — although I basically made the decision out of necessity.

I was about a year into my job working as a communications manager for a local company when I found out my position was going to be eliminated. I began looking into the options for a new position within the company, but no other departments or open positions seemed to fall within my skill set.

I also live in an area with an emphasis on blue-collar jobs and, while I love living in a region filled with dedicated, hard workers, I didn’t really fit with most local businesses and needs. Moving wasn’t an option for me as my husband was halfway through a competitive apprenticeship at the local utility company.

I then discovered an opportunity that would allow me to work from the comfort of my own home. I had heard of this career possibility before and distantly knew of some people that did this full-time, but I was nervous about taking the leap into a position where I was my own worst enemy. What if I felt lazy that morning and wanted to drink coffee instead of beginning my work? Or what if someone came to the door during a phone call? What if? what if? What if?

Thankfully, I took the leap despite my fears. Since then, I’ve never looked back. There are some things, however, I must do every morning in order to ensure I will be productive.

First, I still set an alarm every morning. Just because I don’t have a commute and someone checking to make sure I’ve arrived doesn’t mean I can sleep in every day. There are still projects, there are still deadlines, and it is still work. I need the alarm to remind me of this and keep me on track.

Second, I had to create a space in my home solely for my work. I originally began working at the kitchen table, and it was a disaster. My dog would continuously bug me; I would look around the kitchen and see food and dirty dishes. The distractions were everywhere.

It wasn’t until we converted the spare bedrooms into an office that I really saw the benefit of having designated work space. When I was in my office with the door closed, it was easy to get into the zone and work effectively and efficiently. I didn’t have the distractions from the kitchen table or the couch or the bed. My office was my office.

Third of all, I have a priority list in place before I begin my day. It’s easy to call up a friend and go out for lunch, start doing a personal project, or forget to take initiative because of your work is done and you’re at home already.

Having a priority list ensures that everything gets done and nothing gets left behind. It reminds me that I need to take initiative and start new projects or ideas in addition to doing the work that I’ve been assigned. Just because I work from home doesn’t mean that I’m a second-rate employee.
Without these things to create the ideal work environment for me, I’m not sure I could work from home. But, because these things are in place and habits now, I love that I can do what I love from the comfort of my own home.

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