Working from Home: 5 Secrets to Success
Working from home means you skip the commute – unless you count the ten-second walk to your desk. But it also means that your house becomes your office. For working parents just like you, it can be hard to create a productive work environment that also allows for work/life balance and the sometimes elusive “me” time. Take a look at these tips from our Family Room bloggers and learn how they make the most of their work-from-home days.
5 Tips to Make the Most of Working From Home
Create a Work Space
Your couch might be comfortable, but a setting up a work space, like a home office or a quiet space in the kitchen, will help boost your productivity. Marisa offers a good reminder: “Working from home is a true blessing but the one hindrance is that you’re always “at work” and work is always accessible. Set limits to ensure that your daytime work hours are truly as productive and efficient as possible and set boundaries to ensure that your work doesn’t follow you into your family time.”
Find Outside Care
“The only way I’m able to work from home successfully is to have outside care,” says Emily, “If they’re home, my kids want me, even if they have someone watching them.”
If you work remotely on a regular basis, set up a child care schedule for the days you know you’ll need it. And if a work-from-home day comes up every once in a while or unexpectedly, get help from nearby family members or your go-to sitter…or set up a day of back-up care. Keeping your child occupied will help you focus on work.
Structure Your Day
Keep your routine intact. “On the days that I work from home I still set my alarm, get dressed, and pack up everything for school before my son wakes up,” shares Aili. “It keeps me from feeling rushed and gives me the all-important “me” time everyone craves.”
“I think the biggest tip I have is to remember that even though you’re at home you’re still working! Throughout the day my mind wanders and I start to think about chores around the house that I should do – like laundry or vacuuming,” says Melissa, “ I have to reel myself in sometimes!”
Avoid distractions by creating a to-do list – write down all of the work you need to get done by the end of the day. And if you really feel like you need to clean the kitchen, do it on your lunch break.
Another way to maintain your concentration is to keep your work and personal devices separate. “I have a work cell and a work computer and I have a home cell and a home computer,” says Melissa, “The lines seem less blurred this way and I can concentrate on work without easily transitioning over to something personal.”
Set aside transition time to prepare for the night ahead. Powering straight through – from work, to picking up the kids, to making dinner, and everything else you need to accomplish – can create unnecessary stress. Aili sets aside an hour at the end of the day to set her evening up for success. She says, “Whether it’s doing dishes, picking up the living room, running to the store, or simply sitting on my couch and watching a few minutes of TV, that hour is something I hold near and dear.”
Do you work from home? How do you make sure each work day is productive?
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