Working from home always sounded so ideal to me. You don't have to deal with early morning commutes (which also saves you money), you have more time to spend with family, and you can literally wake up and work in your PJs if you want to. But after a while of just rolling out of bed and jumping straight into work, I found that the lack of structure really got to me. Now don't get me wrong, I've always been very self-disciplined and independent so I've been loving the flexibility. But with that being said... all that glitters is not gold. It definitely has its downsides.
Here are some things you might want to think about if you're like me and are considering following this path.
Work-life balance? What's that?
Between balancing full time nutrition consulting, a part time job and freelance work, my work hours are...always. While I'm so grateful for these opportunities, thrown in there is a meltdown or two every month. After spending so much time at home for work, I found it extremely hard to just relax when I was done for the day. You don't get to clock out and "go home" after work everyday so I had to adjust to that.
Solution: Set boundaries and have a designated work space.
Decide ahead of time what your work hours will be and then manage your tasks effectively. Once those hours are up, turn off your computer, walk away from it and don't answer anymore emails. Setting this routine helps your mind to separate work from home. And as tempting as it may be, don't work from the comfort of your couch or on your bed. Leave those areas for what they're meant for; sleeping and sex.
Some days just putting on a bra feels like a huge win
One of the many perks of working from home is being able to wear whatever you want. It's easy to wake up 10 minutes before a scheduled call, brush your teeth and just stay in your PJs all day. But I find it hard to get into work mode when I do this and then all I wanna do I binge watch a show on Netflix.
Solution: Set a Structured Morning Routine
I'm not saying that you have to put on a full face of make up and put on your business clothes but for me, waking up early to shower, put on a different set of clothes and have breakfast really sets the tone for the rest of my day. Even if it's just leggings and a t-shirt.
More room for distractions
Whether it's a knock on your door, your dog barking, loud neighbours, or the people you live with not knowing when to respect your work time... things can get pretty disruptive. Luckily for me, things are pretty quiet at home on most days so I actually find it easier to concentrate.
Solution: Make use of do not disturb signs
Let people know you're working so they don't walk in unannounced. I put one on the door of my workspace and also on my front door. That way you don't have to worry about people knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell while you're on a call with a client. A headset with a mute button will also be your best friend if anything unexpected comes up.
This one is huge. After just my second week of working from home everyday I started to feel like I was going insane. Which makes sense considering the only face-to-face human interaction I had for that time was the UberEats delivery guy or my building's security guard.
Solution: Schedule regular breaks & time to socialize.
Go outside. Walk your dog. Meet up with a friend at lunch. Anything just so that so you're not glued to a screen all day. This is especially important if you're doing nutrition or any type of health consults with clients. You can only help others as much as you help yourself. We can't pour out of an empty cup so take care of yourself.
Lower productivity and motivation
There are just some days where you don't feel motivated. This goes for anyone, whether you work at home or not.
Solution: Make your work area as inviting as possible
You're gonna be spending a lot of time at your desk so get creative with decorating and make it a reflection of your personality. Put up photos, motivational quotes or anything else that makes you happy. I made a vision board at the start of the year and put that up near my desk to remind me of my "why" on days when I'm working long hours. I also make sure my workspace is clean and organized. I'm just one of those people who can't work if the place is a mess.
What tips do you have that you have found helped you overcome some of these challenges?
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