Working remotely has become not only a common practice in companies today, but it has almost become expected by candidates to be able to at least one day a week. I found a study to back this assumption and it said that 70% of people globally work from home one day a week, then there is another 50% work remotely half of a week. As a recruiter talking to people all day, I have found that a lot of candidates won’t even be interested in a role without being able to work from home at least one day a week. Then, in that same article my observation was backed by a study claiming that ⅓ of workers would change their jobs for the ability to work from home.
Now that I have been working remotely for 2-3 days a week for almost three years, I completely understand WHY people love to work from home and why they require it.
The reasons I love to work from home are:
I am more productive.
I spend less time commuting.
I get to wear pjs or sweats all day.
I am more relaxed and less stressed during the day.
**It allows me to have more time in a day while still getting in a full day of work.
Having more time, for me is invaluable. There is nothing in this world I ever want, need, or crave more than time, regardless of what I use it for. (ie – cleaning, sleeping, working out, cooking dinner, seeing my family, just not driving…)
Once you experience the time benefit when you start working from home it’s hard to go back to a job where you don’t have that freedom. I really don’t know if I could personally have the strict guidelines of working in an office 100% of the time again.
With that said, working from home is not for everyone and you have to be really disciplined and focused to make it work. When I started working remotely I had to put myself on a new routine to help me stay focused and on track with my work. I believe that the routine and rules I have made for myself while working from home is the reason I have been so successful at it, so I thought I would share that with you today to see if it can help!
Below is HOW I work from home, the schedule I am on, and the rules I have set for myself to keep me on track!
My #1 Rule, which is really my only rule..
You work during working hours.
This may sound simple and some of the managers out there may think, “well they better be working during working hours!” The truth is, not everyone does, nor will everyone work 100% of the time they are home. Part of the benefits of working from home is that you have that flexibility. You can start working earlier or work later if you have to run out, as long as the job gets done.
With that being said, there are those distractions at home that turn that errand or chore into hours of work. When you are at home you can’t escape the laundry that needs to be folded, the dishes and house that needs to be cleaned, the TV, and the other fun distractions that are way more appealing than working.
There are so many things that you could be doing when at home, but my rule is that you simply can’t. You work during working hours and save the rest for when the clock strikes 5.
It doesn’t matter if my apartment is a mess, the laundry pile is as high as Mount Everest, and the dishes are overflowing the sink, I’m not touching it. I will work through the mess knowing that as soon as the clock hits 5 I am literally two steps away from all the chores I can do. I am and remind myself to be grateful that I don’t have to drive an hour home to put everything away and then get started. Always remembering that is key so that you don’t slip and do something during the day.
Now I want to get into HOW I work from home, just so you can know the exact play by play of how my schedule works!
Below is the basic routine I follow when I work from home. This can always vary slightly, but I generally follow it pretty regularly.
To start: I wake up. Roll out of bed. Put my sweats on. Get coffee. Meditate. Write in my Start Today Journal. Prep for my day. And then I will typically write a blog or work a project for work if I have a lot going on. It’s important to know this all happens on my couch. I start the morning cozy and comfortable.
(*If I work out in the morning I will start the coffee, meditate, journal, writing routine around 6:30/7 am)
Once the workday begins, I will go to my “working station.
I will get up from the couch, set up my monitor and will go to the counter and will start my working day. For me, physically getting up and moving to a desk type of set up helps me get more serious and “workey” rather than sitting on my relaxing couch. I will start with immediate tasks and addressed the most urgent needs first. Then I will jump into my calls, and I watch the clock to make sure that starts before 10 am.
At lunchtime I take a break.
I take a break and go on a walk or do something physical in my apartment. This is partially to mentally reset, partially to move my body a bit, and partially to just get out of the apartment if it’s nice out. Regardless of exactly what I do, it gives me that break in the day to reset and get ready to attack the second half of the day fully focused.
Once I finish up working for the day I will take down my workstation and my day will officially be over.
At that point, I will go to a yoga class or cook dinner, clean, or fold laundry. That part will always change but what I think it’s incredibly important to shut it off and shut it down. Many people complain about not being able to “turn off” work when you work from home. But the thing is you can and you should for your health, but you are just choosing not too. Choose differently and put it physically away.
Small ad-ons that make a BIG impact:
I track my monthly and quarterly goals to keep me motivated.
I am in the field of work that if you are not working, you are not making money, so I always have that fear in the back of my mind that helps me push through the hard days of work. If this isn’t the case for you, set yourself daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly goals that you can track that will keep you focused and motivated during your working hours.
I will have all of my lunches and snacks prepared.
It is so easy to just say to yourself that you will make your lunch or cook up something quick when you work from home, but it still takes up “working hours”. I prepare and pack up the lunches or snacks that I will be eating during the day, even if I am home, so all it takes is a quick microwave heat up, and I am good to go.
Finally, I don’t work from home every day.
Even though I can work remotely 100% of the time, I rent an office space to go to 2-3 days a week. I love working from home more than anything, but I also love interacting with other people. Going into an office a couple of days a week is good for me to get dressed and get out of the house, with some social interaction. Going into an office a couple of days a week also helps me still fully appreciate the days that I do get to work from home. I look forward to my work from home days and see it as a special time, and I never take it for granted, because it truly is a privilege.
If you do work from home every day..
I would suggest a couple of things.
- Everyday or a couple of days a week still shower and get ready as if you are going to an office. Getting ready just feels different and I do think that you perform differently as well. Not to mention you want to not look homeless every single day your significant other comes home.. I have to remind myself that sometimes!
- I would recommend to somehow get out of the house every day. Whether that is a quick run to the store, a work out class, going to see a friend, whatever it is, getting out of your house or apartment is important so you don’t become a total hermit.
There are so many advantages to working from home and I am so grateful that our world has technology so that this can even be an option for us. It’s an opportunity you want to take full advantage of, without sacrificing your output of work. Getting into a routine and setting yourself rules and guidelines to follow helps you stay on track and focused on your work and goals.
You may hate or love my routine and I am sure it is drastically different for all of us, but as long as you are following some type of structure, you should find just as much success, if not more, than you did working in an office. AND you get to enjoy the benefits of having more time to do whatever you please. =]