The following list contains tips as opposed to rules; there are no definitive solutions to perfecting harmony and efficiency when working from home - we’re all different, and different things work for different people. Nevertheless there are some experiences that we can all relate to.
1) Get out of the house once in a while for some exercise - it’s true what they say, “healthy body, healthy mind” - you’ll be more productive, even if that means taking 40 minutes to have a walk or jog.
2) If you do go and work in a coffee shop, just go for the afternoon or morning session, a whole day will drive you nuts and will be more expensive (also don’t drive back in rush hour if you can help it).
3) Have a space in your house dedicated to work so that there's a distinction at home between work and relaxation
4) Make sure your work space is exactly as you like it, your house, your rules. Otherwise you’ll get distracted and be in the wrong frame of mind to focus.
5) Give yourself breaks when you need them but don't get distracted from your task. It’s easy to forget about breaks when you’re working on your own projects from home and you’ll burnout without them.
6) Don't be in your PJs if doing a conference call, some people insist on videos and you don't want to get caught out in you favourite Minion onesie.
7) Take a moment to appreciate that time in the morning when you know most people are stuck in rush hour traffic and getting frustrated, and you’re already pouring yourself a coffee. Working from home has many perks, and it’s good once in a while to remember the parts of office life (and 9-5) that you didn’t previously care for.
8) If you own a cat, then make a place for them to settle that’s not on your hands while you’re typing or on your important documents as you’re printing them.
9) Make sure that your working space has some means of ventilation. Fresh air will keep you alert and seeing sunlight will keep you from getting ‘cabin fever’.
10) Make sure that your family realise before you start working from home, that this doesn’t mean you’ve become a hermit that watches cartoons all day and is available to do the shopping during your working day. You’re working on a proper job that requires your sole attention during your self-designated working hours. If you do decide to take advantage of your own flexibility once in a while (as is your prerogative) then they should appreciate that this is a luxury afforded by your circumstances and not something that should be considered a regular occurrence in the future.
The important thing is to make sure that you’re comfortable with your setup, and that it’s an environment you look forward to working in!
It’s not meant to be somewhere you’d happily sit for hours browsing social media and snack-eating from the fridge while watching your favourite films on another monitor - that can all be done later when your working day is through. The only difference is that it’ll take you approximately 1 minute to get in to that position from your home office, which affords you the luxury of being able to work for longer!
If you work from home and have some useful tips and/or experiences that you’d like to share then we’d love to hear them and see what works for you, so let us know in the comments! ;-)