Working from home might seem like a dream come true. In fact, about 70% of professionals work from home at least once a week and many consider themselves more productive when working remotely. In an age where technology is at our fingertips and staying connected is easier than ever, the world seems made for remote working. And of course, homemade coffee and comfy clothes aren’t bad either.
Of course, nothing is as easy as it seems, and working from home isn’t for everyone. Some people just need the structure and routine of an office setting. But, if you’re willing to set some boundaries and take a disciplined approach, it could be just what you need.
Creating a routine is necessary, but give yourself room to adjust
Cultivating discipline in your new work-from-home lifestyle needs to be a priority. This can be particularly difficult if you have family or children at home. Create a realistic routine for yourself and define your expectations with those you live with. For example, do you perform better when you are showered and dressed for the day? If so, put it at the top of your list. Are you planning to make yourself available when a good friend calls wanting to meet for coffee, or will that throw you off your game? By defining your expectations for yourself early on, you’ll have an easier time sticking to your goals.
Remember that relationships need real face time
Whether you are working within a team or developing a new client relationship, some things need to happen in person. Don’t rely on Skype or conference calls when it’s time to make real connections. A realistic and practical mix of time at home and time with your connections will ensure that the people in your life don’t feel left out of the loop when you’re working from home. Regular trips to the office or even to a coffee shop to meet up with your team or your colleagues will help make the transition a smooth one.
Go easy on yourself
If you’re making the transition from working in an office to working from home, finding stumbling blocks along the way is inevitable. Whether you lose an entire morning to Facebook or end up taking too many snack breaks, remember that you are only human. Give yourself the grace to evaluate your weaknesses, figure out what changes you need to make, and learn from these moments. It’s all about balance.