When you start your career, no one teaches you how to work from home. No one teaches you how to handle flex work environments or being able to work from your bed if you’re sick. Whether you’re planning to work from home one day or week or be flexible to doing it when the mood strikes, here are five tips for working from home that are actually going to help you get work done. 

While these tips aren’t necessarily going to create the ideal all-the-time work-from-home environment, they could be kept in mind then as well. 

Have a dedicated working space

Working from your bed sounds like a dream, until it becomes a nightmare. If you’re working on your computer, find a solid place when you can sit up, spread out, and actually get to work instead of just falling back asleep. If you don’t have a dedicated desk/office area, consider using your dining room table. The key thing is not trying to work in a place you usually relax. It’ll ruin both the work and the relaxation and get your mind all confused about what the space is for. 

Make sure you have what you need

Nothing sucks more than planning to work from home and realizing you don’t have the crucial files you need to get it done. So, do your best to plan ahead if you’re working from home by choice. If you’re not…my best advice is to always be prepared. Save your passwords, make copies of your important information, and never leave your laptop charger at the office. I’ve made that mistake one too many times. Using Google docs vs desktop-file saving has been a huge lifesaver for me. 

Plan your meals and avoid bottomless snacking

When I’m at the office, I regiment my food well. I have my one planned lunch, a pot of coffee, and a big bottle of water. But working from home and being able to walk up to my fridge whenever I like it threatening to my work habits honestly. If I’m not careful, I end up snacking all day, and not on the healthy stuff. If you have to work at home, try to mimic your work meal schedule. Don’t overdo or underdo the coffee and eat healthy. I like to pre-plan my meals when I’m working from home or even go out for lunch to avoid the urge to snack all day. 

Take short breaks

Be honest with yourself. When you’re working at the office, you’re not working constantly. You’re chatting with coworkers and taking bathroom breaks and screaming “ugh” into the coffee pot, so give yourself some little breaks during the day when you’re working from home too. Plan to take the trash out, if that’s what it takes to get away from work. Take a shower. Take a walk around the neighborhood. Schedule in one, just one, episode of a TV show. You don’t have to work constantly, you just have to get work done. 

Mimic the office environment

The key to successful at home work is not making it that different from working in the office. Find what makes it work for you. For some, that means you put on pants and don’t just work in your undies. For others, it’s the food and drink. My personal fave is the ambient noise. I’ve never worked well in silence. So I put on music or the news or a news-like podcast and am then able to get into the work groove. I also usually keep it a little colder, just like my office, so I’m not falling asleep. Find what little ways you can mimic your normal environment and you’ll find you can still get work done from home.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member