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EVA Blog Article
Tips For WFH Success
July 12, 2016

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

There’s a difference between working from home (WFH) once in awhile and working from home full time. Working from home 2 days a week is a nice break from the office, but when you’re home becomes your only office, that’s when you need to make sure you still have some structure to your day.

Many people think working from home is glamorous; everyone wants to do it. There are many advantages to being able to walk from one side of your house to the other to step into the office. Who wants to sit in traffic for 2 hours or more each day? You also save on clothing; not having to buy both professional and casual clothes can save you a significant amount of money each year.

But ask yourself this: can you really conduct a business meeting in your PJs, or get work done with your kids running around you all day? If you’re just getting started working from home, whether it’s a remote office or you have your own business, there are some steps you can take to ensure your transition will be successful. Keep in mind that getting started is the hardest part, and there is an adjustment period to take into consideration.

WFH Tip #1: Distractions

There are more distractions than you would imagine at home. Although, an office has its own set of distractions: co-workers, bosses, visitors, countless meetings, lunches, happy hours, etc, working from home also has its own.  I, personally, am more productive at home than I was in an office, but it took a while to get used to things like not cleaning the house every time I saw something out of place, not answering the door every time a solicitor showed up, stopping to play with the dog, etc.

You have a little more control at home to avoid distractions.  You can’t tell your co-worker or boss to leave you alone when you’re trying to meet a deadline, but if you’re home and they’re calling you, putting that call off until you get to a comfortable stopping point is a huge time saver. You can literally shave a minimum of 1-2 hours off your day if you sit down, focus, and get your work done without distractions.

WFH Tip #2: Daycare

This was the first big lesson I learned 25 years ago when I started working from home. I thought I could get everything done in the early morning hours, in the evening, and at naptime. I was wrong. Not that it couldn’t be done, but I felt like I was always working. If you’re going to work for a few hours a day this routine would be possible, but if you’re working closer to a full-time schedule, you need daycare for your kids, period.

WFH Tip #3: Dress for Success

Although working in your PJs might be comfy, it also makes you a little too comfy. It is easier to resist the urge to crawl back in bed when you’re not feeling well by getting up and starting your day like you were heading to the office. This gets your mindset in work mode and helps set the tone for the day. Whatever your morning ritual would be if you were leaving to go to the office, do the same at home.  First and foremost thought, get out of your PJ’s!  You don’t need to dress in your business best but get out of your PJs or sweats and into something business casual.  

WFH Tip # 4: Prepare Your Lunch & Snacks

Prepare your breakfast, lunch, and snacks the night before like you would if you’re going to the office. This will allow you to grab a quick bite and not take too much time making lunch in your kitchen, which can turn into getting things ready for dinner or washing dishes. Although you might think working from home allows you more flexibility for doing things like that, it can also turn into a big time-suck that can get away from you.

WFH Tip #5: Schedule Your Exercise Time

If you’re someone who likes to work out a few days a week, then be sure to schedule your time to exercise like you would an appointment. Pick a time and stick to it either first thing in the morning, at lunch, or right after work. You can always make adjustments along the way, but treat it like any other appointment by putting it in your schedule and working around it.

The Miscellaneous

  • Our lives are busy, there’s no way around that.  Run errands or schedule doctor and dental appointments like you would if you were in an external office.
  • Are you a power napper? Schedule 20 mins to lay down and catch that quick nap that will help you get through the rest of your day. There’s no need to hide under your desk with a pillow and blanket, just set an alarm for 20 minutes and get a few zzz’s.  Just don’t lay down with no end in sight and wake up at 5:00. Set your alarm!
  • Keep in mind you still have the flexibility to create your day to work for you and whoever you’re working for.  You can make up lost time in the evening when you need to have some time off during the day, or you can work on the weekend if you need to take time off during the week.
  • Make a plan, keep things flexible, and you’re sure to have a successful work at home experience.

Working from home is a great option for many people that just takes some getting used to. The biggest mistake I’ve found over the years in working with others who work from home is becoming lackadaisical. This can happen either at home or in an office, but sometimes it’s harder to keep yourself motivated if you don’t have some type of structure to your day. 

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