You might be surprised at some of the benefits you can reap if you work from home.
For instance, did you know that, if you work from home, you can deduct square footage and office supplies when you file your taxes?
Well read on, because we’ve got a lot of great tips for you, whether or not you’re new to this whole work-from-home situation. Remember, YMMV depending on if your business is actually based out of your home (like crafting or counseling) versus if you telecommute for a corporate job. If you’re an entrepreneur considering your next move, a shared office space could be the right fit.
Either way, these tips should help!
And if you need help configuring a home office for yourself, we’re the pros. Here is our article about how to budget for a home office. And it’s free to see what a custom home office would look like in your space. Talk to one of our designers today and we’ll take care of you.
This one is key. And it solves a major worry for both employer and employee. You, the employee, are probably worried about your own productivity at home. You might also be worried how your employer will know that you’re actually working.
By communicating with your boss or colleagues regularly, you demonstrate that you are in fact putting in the same hours as everyone else. You show you are still engaged and contributing to the company’s projects, and you show that you work a full day. Make sure you check in with your boss and your team about how they prefer to communicate. Do they want mid-morning checkins on Slack? Zoom voice calls once a week? Email reports on Fridays with a breakdown of your work?
In unpredictable economic times, it’s super important to focus on showing value at work. So if you’re working at home, make sure to communicate regularly so your team knows you’re in the trenches with them, too.
2. MAKE YOURSELF A HOME OFFICE
If you’re a long-time telecommuter, you know this already. But for people who are new to working from home, it can be tempting to just sit on the couch, or even climb back into bed with your laptop! We’ll admit, it is a major benefit of working from home that you can move around and adjust your body to more physically comfortable positions than you might otherwise do in an office.
However, eventually the temptation (and neck cramps) get in the way of your to do list.
So, choose a spot right now which will serve as your home office. It can be a nook, a small end table cleared off in the living room, or your spare bedroom. Tell your partner or housemates so they can leave you alone while you’re working. Consider using a blocker or signing out of social media accounts during work hours. Set up your space with office accoutrements and things that make it feel focused and professional.
Your home office should feel comfortable but not too comfortable. You should imagine having a Zoom meeting your boss without being totally embarrassed by the decor.
If you need help figuring out how to decorate or organize a home office, Furnishr can help.
3. LEAVE THE HOUSE AT LEAST ONCE DAILY
When your work is at home, and your life is at home, and there’s no commute to give you fresh air or a change of scenery – well, you can see how easy it could be to get trapped indoors all day!
Some of our favorite ideas are to take a short afternoon walk to a nearby park. The NY Times recommends this as a way to combat the sluggish afternoon hours when most people get tired and distracted. Or you could take your lunch outside to your yard or patio. Remember, you should only do this if you can still practice social distancing! If it’s too crowded outside, try opening a window and breathing some fresh air.
Not only is it a good idea to try to leave your house once a day, but we also recommend finding someone to chat with outside your work group. It helps you disconnect, so you can come back refreshed. Why not take a virtual lunch break with an old friend?
4. KNOW HOW TO SIGN OFF
For people who work at home, it can be difficult to separate work from home. For instance, in the office, you have all the normal cues where people start to pack up around 5p.
But at home, it can be easy to just keep working, just for a few more minutes… until suddenly it’s 6:30p.
Don’t let working from home turn you into a lazy employee, but don’t let it turn you into a workaholic, either.
A lot of telecommuters have some kind of ritual that helps them close out their work day. It can be an alarm and something as simple as sending a final message via Slack to your team and then closing the laptop and getting up.
5. ENJOY YOUR FLEXIBILITY
Remember that not everyone has the option to work from home! It comes with challenges, true, especially if your home environment is not super conducive to focusing.
However, you have a lot of flexibility compared to most office workers. There are a lot of benefits to working from home, and you should try to enjoy them.
For instance, you can hydrate as much as you want (and pee as often as you want!) without incurring the suspicion of your coworkers.
You can stretch out and do yoga, or sit in positions that work better for your body than stuffy old office chairs.
You are more in control of the soundscape of your work environment. You could blast Rihanna all day and no one will ever know!
You’re also better able to feed yourself home cooked meals, which saves on money and is usually healthier for you than eating out.
We hope you put these tips to good use!
If you’re ready to explore what a home office could look like for you, schedule a free consultation with our designers. Here is the easiest way to get started.