In today’s hyper connected world, working from home is more common than ever. In fact, a 2017 survey found that almost half of Americans work remotely in some sort of capacity.
But as alluring as a flexible work environment might sound, there’s a reason why everyone hasn’t decided to start clocking in from home: It’s actually not that easy!
Answering emails from the comfort of your bed during a sick day is totally doable, but working full-time outside of a traditional office space can feel isolating and, at times, even more distracting than sitting next to chatty co-workers.
Of course, there are many ways a person can create an efficient remote routine. Below, we give you six essential tips on how to work from home and not lose your effin’ mind.
Do not sit at your desk in your pajamas
It’s tempting to wake up and start the day in front of the computer as soon as possible, but it’s really important to keep your morning routine.
After the alarm clock goes off, go ahead and have breakfast, take a shower, and put on some clothes. Try to dress as if you were actually going to see people. Or at least in a way that wouldn’t be embarrassing if someone showed up at your door.
“Just remember to have some self-dignity,” says William, an engineer who works from his home office in New Jersey. “Otherwise, your wife will come home and see you covered in cereal crumbs in your old T-shirt and she’ll wonder what the hell happened to you.”
Schedule in a mini-commute
One of the highlights of working from home is that you no longer have to be stuck in traffic or sweating on the subway with hundreds of other commuters on a daily basis. But there is an advantage in stepping out of your house early in the day, even if it’s just for a quick, revitalizing walk around the block.
“I’ve found it’s key to ‘break the seal’ early and get out first thing in the morning,” says Michelle, a freelance writer based in New York. “Letting the sunlight soak in is a great reminder that there’s a whole world outside — and it’s pretty lovely — so you don’t get sucked in at home all day.”
Clean the kitchen at night
It’s hard enough to work on a messy desk, but it’s even more difficult to try and concentrate when there’s a stack of dirty dishes piling up in the sink. Trust me: No matter how tired you are after dinner, just do the dishes.
A clean kitchen in the morning will save you some valuable time, helping you kick off the day with a clear and uncluttered mental state.
Have a designated working space
You don’t necessarily have to sign up to a fancy (read: expensive) co-working space in order to get things done.
Even if you live in a tiny apartment, set up a comfortable, inviting work nook. Don’t drag your laptop into bed in the morning or set it up on the kitchen counter while you’re having breakfast — organize a space where you actually want to sit down and stay focused. Otherwise, the lines between your business time and personal time will start to blur.
Make lunch plans
Or yoga plans. Or a workout date. The point is to pencil in some valuable social time at some point during the week. Not only will this make you feel less lonely, it might also help you become more productive.
“It’s sort of like how having a workout buddy makes you actually get to the gym,” Michelle says. “Making plans ensures you get out of the house and can also light a fire under you to make sure you get your work done in order to make the hangout.”
Regulate your internet use
A simple rule to follow: Whatever you didn’t feel comfortable doing online in front of your boss back when you worked in an office, don’t do it at home. And we’re not just talking about NSFW content. It’s more about not spending hours talking to your fiends on G-chat or unnecessarily wasting time on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t catch up on your Netflix shows, either.
Work time is work time; be your own supervisor and make sure you don’t catch yourself slacking off.
Download Bumble Bizz to meet other professionals who also work from home. And as always, stay tuned for more tips straight from the Bumble HQ.
Patricia for The BeeHive