How to Work From Home Successfully

I’ve been working from home a few days of the week.  I am lucky to work at a company that provides the flexibility to have its employees work from home some of the time to an almost exclusive schedule.  Now you may be thinking that sounds great or you wish that you could or you currently work at home now and you don’t see the joy in being able to do so.  Some people’s reasons to actually work from home are usually the following

  • Being able to pick up and drop off kids – One of the best things about people that are younger and able to work from home is being able to pick up and drop off the kids and have some more time to spend with them while being able to work.
  • Saving time on a long commute – Commuting is a very time intensive activity that can be stressful and difficult.  It can also affect your mood.
  • Saving money on commuting related costs – Commuting is expensive in general with the cost of insurance, maintenance on your car and gas prices this increases the further you are from the office and for some people working from home is a big perk because of this one point alone.

I am sure that there are more reasons and definitely feel free to post them below but the core reason being working from home is that it makes life easier and what most people don’t realize is that it can actually become more difficult because schedules, motivations and reasons that once seemed so bright have now faded.  I also want to talk about some tips to keep you motivated, scheduled and relaxed with your choice about working at home.

Staying motivated

It can be hard to stay motivated by the day to day routines that exist in most workplaces today for even the best employees and working at home for some people may find it too difficult to keep that momentum without the physical presence of other employees.  Working with other people provides the ability to have other people relate to your circumstances, to de-stress when talking about a difficult situation and some people just function better being around others.

The first decision you need to make is “can I motivate myself in the difficult situations and stresses of work?” and be completely honest with yourself when you answer this because you will have to life with this decision.  If you still answer “Yes!” then you might be a good candidate for working from home.

Have a schedule

Work is seductive in that if you don’t know how much work you are going to do on a daily basis you run the risk of over working yourself.  If you go to work every day then chances are you commute to and from work.  So there are a few hours that you normally schedule to decompress and come down from the stresses of work however when you work from home there is little to no decompression time and chances are if you’ve had a bad day you are going to want to discuss it with someone.  In essence you are bringing stress into your house to your spouse, partner and kids.  I know that when I finish work at home, my wife sometimes listens to me rant a little bit however would it be different if I commuted to and from work?  It probably would.

Another important point is to make sure you stop for lunch and breaks or if you can schedule lunch with a friend this is a healthier approach to balancing work and life.

If you find yourself stressed out working from home then try to get out and go for a walk, hit the gym or do something to get you out of your routine day and shake off some of the stress.

Lastly, defining a start time and a finish time to work is important because much like when you go to work you know when you start in the morning and when you finish at night.  One of the biggest things that most people lack is the ability to “turn it off” when the day is over.  What normally happens is that people work longer trying to fit in more work until they could become burnt out by their work commitments.

If you are one of the lucky people that are able to make the choice to work at home then this can definitely be rewarding but you have to make sure that you set boundaries, turn off the smart phone and disconnect at the end of the day.

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