A couple weeks back we announced our final days in our old office, and that our team would be switching to working remotely until our new place is ready for us in a few (fingers crossed) weeks. Having worked as a freelancer once upon a time, I know from experience that while working from home may seem awesome upfront, it also comes with its own set of challenges and setbacks.
Lounging on the couch in your comfiest pair of tattered sweatpants sounds like a glamorous way to work, but the novelty wears off fast. Just like it’s a bad idea to bring your work laptop to bed with you, blurring the lines between “professional” and “off the clock” can be dangerous to your productivity (and your work-life balance.) You’ll probably notice how getting into your “work clothes” puts you in a different mindset from your “home clothes.” Keep those boundaries up and start your day by getting yourself ready to work just like you would if you were going into the office.
Cats on the keyboard, laundry you’ve been putting off, mom somehow sensing you’re “able to talk real quick”... being out of the office comes with plenty of distractions. And that’s okay! Office life is equally full of distractions, we just don’t notice them because they’re part of the everyday (although hopefully your coworkers don’t sit on your keyboard for attention.) The key is allowing the distractions to happen, then getting back on track.
As a card-carrying introvert, I’m first in line to choose working in my secluded home office, but staying social has its benefits! Keep up the team environment by scheduling some quality time with your favorite colleagues. Whether you’re getting on a quick call to update a co-worker on a project, or scheduling a meeting at a coffee shop to catch up on some new tasks, find ways to connect with your coworkers through more than emails.
Even if you’re keeping “office hours,” it’s sometimes hard to feel productive when your routine is thrown off. Try setting a few goals each day to help yourself stay on track. For example, maybe you need to make sure to send those important emails by 11, and have X, Y, and Z tasks completed by the end of the day. Even if you’re bouncing around between tasks, setting goals can provide a framework for your day.