The Dos and Don’ts of Working from Home: How to be Successful
If you follow the Caster Communications blog and social media, you probably know by now that I am Caster’s token Canadian employee. I work full-time from my home office, which at first was a major adjustment. Previous to my tenure at Caster I worked in an office every day for about a decade. Don’t get me wrong, it was a welcome change, but it could have just as easily been a disaster. It’s all in what you do and don’t do. If you’re new or transitioning to working from home, here are a few tips that will help you do it right:
Do: have a dedicated workspace that makes you happy.
Don’t: work from your couch, dining room, or god forbid – bed.
Section off part of your home and turn it into your personal office space. This space should be bright, ergonomic and reflect your personality so that when you’re working, you feel good. It is also a major advantage if your office space has a door. Having a door means, one, you can close yourself off from distractions – like family members and the temptation to complete household chores or peruse the fridge; two, take uninterrupted calls in peace and quiet; and most importantly, three, you can close the door at the end of the day to separate your work life from home life.
Do: have a morning routine, just like you are leaving the house to head into the office.
Don’t: roll out of bed and start working in your pajamas.
Not only is it gross to spend the day unwashed and in the clothes you slept in, but you will be more alert and ready to tackle your day if you wash up, put on clean clothes and brew that much needed cup of caffeine before sitting down. That’s not to say that you have to be uncomfortable, (sweat pants will become your new best friend), just be sure to put on CLEAN sweat pants!
Do: take regular breaks and move around.
Don’t: stay glued to your desk all day.
Although working from home means more uninterrupted productive time at your desk, your body needs interruptions. Your blood circulation needs oxygen to give you energy and we all know it’s unhealthy to sit all day. Whether you get up to make a snack, do some stretches, take the dog for a quick walk, or water the flowers – just get up and move around for 5-10 minutes every hour or two. You’ll feel better and be more productive.
Do: be social and reachable.
Don’t: isolate yourself and become a hermit.
If you do, you will go crazy… for real! Making time for social time is just as important for your health as getting up and moving around. I’m not suggesting you take two-hour lunch breaks, but remember if you were in an office, you would talk to co-workers intermittently throughout the day. Call or FaceTime your co-workers to review a project rather than emailing them. Regular interaction with your team keeps you connected, leading to improved collaboration and relationship building.
Do you work from home or are transitioning to remote work? Reach out to me at @erinmktgpr on Twitter to share your tips or hesitancies.