Posted 05.31.16 by Aminda
Ahhh yes, working from home… one of the sweet, sweet fruits of the internet. If you have a 9-5, I’m sure the thought of occasionally working from home makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, right?
Don’t get me wrong… I do enjoy some characteristics of the office environment (the whole bagels-for-everyone-in-the-kitchen thing, free coffee, unlimited access to office supplies to stay supes organized...) and I do think being physically present is important for certain projects. Let’s be real though, working from home can be a life saver because you're free of distracting office chatter, long meetings, and the expectation of doing your hair and makeup.
There are pros and cons to having freedom to work in your pajamas. The trick to W.F.H. is finding that perfect balance of comfort and efficiency to maximize your productivity, you know - to make sure you don't just goof off all day. Luckily, my wish of working from home has been granted (one day per week), so I have been perfecting my working-from-home skills. Here are a few important components to pay attention to while working from home.
1. SNACKS + FOOD
PRO: When you work from home, the food is free (kind of), probably healthier than the office vending machine or Arby’s down the street of the office, and you don’t have to prep it the night before.
CON: It’s easy to over eat since the snacks are in such abundance, and your refrigerator is all like “Heyyyy boo! What are you doing home today? Come on over here, I have delicious gifts for you…”
How to snack while WFH, like a boss: Definitely take advantage of the fact that you have access to your fruits and veggies, which you might not have at work if you’re like me and don’t take the time to prep these things the night before (insert photo of me shamefully eating a giant bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos here...). However, the minute you start feeling like you’re snacking as if you’re sitting in a movie theater, just take a step back and recognize what you’re doing and remind yourself that you’re “at work”. Fill up your tumbler with a refreshing iced tea, press play on that new album you just downloaded, and focus.
2. GETTING READY
PRO: You can literally roll out of bed and into your spinny office chair in one swift movement and no one would ever know.
CON: Not getting ready at all can keep you stuck in that sleepy-head mode, making it hard to actually wake up and concentrate.
How to get ready for WFH, like a boss: Set your alarm early enough to give you the time to take a shower, brush yo’ teeth, and pick out an outfit for the day.. just as if you were actually going into the office. That being said, it’s totally okay (and recommended) if said outfit consists of a Grateful Dead tee, sweat pants, and the fluffiest fluffy socks you have. You’ll feel much more refreshed and ready to roll, even if your outfit isn't quite business casual.
PRO: You can take care of your random household chores throughout your workday, so when you’re off of work, your laundry is done, your cat is fed, and you’re free as a bird.
CON: Is housework ever *really* complete? We all know that it feels never ending, so watch out – before you know it your pantry looks like it's straight off of a Pinterest board (props to you if you can actually do that) and your spices are alphabetized, but your boss is like “where’s that report though?”… not good.
How to do housework while working from home, like a boss: Being able to take care of minor errands during your workday is definitely one of the main benefits of WFH… and you definitely SHOULD take advantage of that! Just do it sparingly and/or during your breaks. Use one of your 15’s to walk the dog, the other one to unload the dishwasher, and put away your laundry on your lunch hour. Actually, I highly suggest going for a dip in the pool during your lunch break. It’s way better than doing laundry anyway plus you can let your hair air dry when you go back “to work”. ;)
4. PERSONAL SOCIAL MEDIA + EMAIL + PHONE CALLS
PRO: You can totally check your personal accounts without fear of getting caught.
CON: Talk about distracting! We all know how easy it is to open up Instagram “for just a sec” and then suddenly it’s two hours later and you’re knee deep in the feed of your sister’s hair stylist’s cousin’s hand-poured soy candle company. Seriously. It happens. (#truestory)
How to check your own social media while WFH, like a boss: There are a few prime times to update your personal social media during your WFH hours. One is right away in the morning – when you’re cozying up to your desk with that cute little mug of yours that so cleverly has “There’s a chance this is wine” inscribed on it. You should TOTALLY take a photo of this and post it to Facebook because chances are, you’re your friends are either sitting in traffic right about now or they just got to the office and they’re doing their own daily A.M. Facebooking. You’ve earned this WFH day, so it’s completely justifiable to show off how lucky you are.
The next prime time to jump on your own social media is during your lunch break – especially since you’ll be enjoying your lunch by the pool! I suggest Instagramming a shot of the smoothie you whipped up that you probably couldn’t have made in the office (all offices should come equipped with a Vitamix.. am I right?) along with plenty of palm trees in the background, and top it off with a warm, sunny filter. Again, you work hard and your boss obviously trusts you to be productive at home… so it’s okay to gloat a little.
And lastly, any time your cat jumps on your lap and rests her head on your wrist while you’re typing away on your computer… ALWAYS, I repeat: ALWAYS Snapchat that. That is just plain adorable.
5. YOUR “WORKSPACE”
PRO: If you have a laptop, you can do all of your work with ¾ of your body still under the covers.
CON: Staying laid up in bed is confusing for your body. This is where you go to unwind and sleep – not to amp up and concentrate. When you lay in bed, you go into vacay mode… it’s science.
How to choose your working-from-home workspace, like a boss: After you go through your morning routine (see #2), it’s okay to spend the first 30 minutes of your workday in bed, curled up with your laptop, wrapped up in your blankets. Do those morning work tasks that are pretty straight forward – sign into IM, check your email, make your list of things that need to get done for the day (see #6).
After these 30 minutes pass, get to a real workspace. You’ve had time to wake up and ease into the day, now it’s time to grind! Work from the comfort of your own desk (which is still bound to be a little more cozy than the one at work), or head to Starbucks with a pair of ear buds, your cute lil notebook, and WFH alongside a quad-shot on ice + splash of coconut milk (yum!).
6. STAYING ON TASK:
PRO: If you fall behind on your workload, no one will really know…
CON: …until 5:00 rolls around and your boss checks their inbox for that file and it isn’t there.
How to stay on task while WFH, like a boss: The best advice for staying on task that I can give is to make a list of what NEEDS to get done that day. Tell yourself that you can’t quit until that list is done. Once you make the list, schedule your tasks however the heck you see fit (edit those photos after you get back from walking the dog, fill out the expense report before you make your very berry smoothie), as long as it gets done – you’re good! If you get distracted and end up not completing those things on the “MUST get done list” you’ll have to go in early the next day to make up for it, and I guarantee that’ll be the last time you leave that list unfinished.
Finally, my last tip for you WFH’ers is to set your alarm to this song on your WFH days. It’ll remind you that even though you don’t gotta go to work work work work work work work, you gotta put in work work work work work work work.