A growing number of workplaces are adopting work-from-home policies, even hiring completely remote workers. It’s great for flexible scheduling, curating your ideal office feng-shui, and checking emails in pjs. It also can make it hard to turn work off.
Create an office
Even if you live in a compact apartment, it’s important that you create space for working that is somehow distinct from your living space. This can help you build boundaries between work life and home life. Ideally, you can designate a room or area of your living space – a second bedroom, a corner with a desk in your living room– that you use only for work. That way, you can still step in and step out of the “office,” turning work mode on and off. But if you live in a compact apartment, creating a designated work-only space is not always an option. But, there are still a few things you can do to help create work on/work off mindsets from home.
Dress for Success
Working from home, it can be easy to wear comfortable clothes, or let’s be honest, pj’s all day. Because who would know the difference? You, actually. You know the difference. A study revealed that when you dress for the workplace, it actually impacts you how authoritative, trustworthy, and competent you perceive yourself to be. So get dressed like you are going into the office. Wearing a professional outfit you feel great in can help to set a professional mindset. It helps when jumping onto conference calls, too!
Create a schedule. And stick to it.
Because home is the office and office is home, it can be easy to always have your work brain half-on. Create an online calendar you can share with others – co-workers, maybe even roommates – with a clear schedule for when you are working and when you are not. When people know when they can reach you it’ll help create more concrete expectations and routines, making a schedule more easily to stick to.
The crucial caveat here though is sticking with it. Keep your calendar up to date, check it, and do your best to follow it. Of course there will be times it’ll have to change last-minute. But the more closely you follow your schedule for on-the-clock and off-the-clock, the easier it will be to maintain expectations for the people you work with (and you!)
Working at home is great for knocking out tasks. There aren’t others around to pop in your office to check in on a project, which is great for getting into your work grind. But it can also get pretty lonely. Make a point of leaving your apartment. Get some fresh air, meet a friend (or co-worker) for coffee. if you live at The Flats at 345 or The Reserve at Merrick, take a break and play some pool in the club room. A perk of working in your apartment building are amenities that aren’t far away – you can simply go downstairs for a change of scenery, some coffee, and a quick mental break.
Creating mental on and off modes – whether it’s getting dressed, creating concrete a schedule, or treating your space like an office – is an important step in creating a productive and positive work-from-home environment. But most importantly, be willing to try different things. Find what works for you.
Interested in more tips? Check out How to Be Productive When You’re Working from Home