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8 Tactics for Working at Home Successfully

How to Successfully Work From Home (Without Getting Weird)

How to Successfully Work From Home (Without Getting Weird)

There are entire companies that have virtual offices. In fact, it seems like a new trend: take the talent where you can, and build a business with people you trust, even if you can’t see them.

Does this work for all companies? Of course not. If you work at the DMV, you have to go in. There’s no getting around that.

But if you work for an information company, you can definitely take your job anywhere, especially if your company’s philosophy supports that.

You lose the water cooler, and the company chitchat, when you allow employees to work remotely, but you gain so much more.

The only problem is that working from home can make a person … well, weird. If you go all day without talking to people, you start to get hermit-like.

But don’t worry! I’ve figured out how to work from home without getting weird. Stick to these 8 tactics, and you’ll be fine.

Here are 8 tips for working from home:

1.) Get dressed. Every day.
If you get dressed (and for me, that includes running a brush through my hair and putting on makeup) for work, you will feel like you’re working. If you stay in your pajamas and stumble to the computer and start working, you’ll feel icky. Remember, hygiene is important, even if you’re not leaving the house for work. Which brings me to …

2.) Leave the house. Every day.
Go! Get a cup of coffee. Take the dog for a walk. Go to yoga! Get out of the house, at least once a day. You’ll go stir crazy if all you ever see during the day are the four walls of your own house. Since your job is portable, take it with you! Pick up your laptop and change your location.

3.) Take advantage of off-peak hours
Go to the gym at 10am — because why not? Stay off the roads during peak commuting times. Go to the post office when there isn’t a line. It’s your day, remember. You can see what the grocery store looks like at 2 p.m. I bet it’s far less crowded than it is at 5 p.m.!

4.) Find others in your situation
Once I considered working from home, I realized … hey! I have several friends who work from home! That’s cool. Why not work together, even if your fields are drastically different? There’s something to be said for sitting quietly, being productive together, while enjoying time together. Make sure you’re doing more work than socializing here, though. Otherwise, you might find that you have to switch coworking buddies.

5.) Join a Meetup group
In my area, there are tons of meetups going on all day (and night!) long. Socialize with these people. Go to the bookstore/library/coffee shop when there are meetups scheduled. It’s a great way to network. You’ll be able to tell people what you do, and who knows? You might find a potential collaborator.

6.) Don’t distract yourself with housework
Just because you’re working from home now doesn’t mean you have to do 100% of the housework. You might feel like you can’t get anything done if there are dishes in the sink, laundry in the dryer, or clutter on the counters. But if you start taking time out of your workday to make your house clean, you’re setting the rest of your family up with the expectation that you do the work because you work from home. If your house is too cluttered to get things done, go somewhere else to work. And when the workday is over, get everyone involved with the cleanup.

7.) Set hours, and stick to them
Don’t feel like you need to clock in or out. But tell yourself you won’t check email after 8 p.m. (or whatever works in your company). Stay available, but don’t actively work. You want to still separate your work time from your leisure time.

8.) Take advantage of the situation
I don’t mean take advantage of your employer. I mean … you can work from anywhere. So why don’t you? Go visit family for a week. Extend your weekend trips. If you can work while your kids are at the lake, do it! Figure out ways to still get your work done while being an active participant in family vacations.

Do you have any tips? What am I missing? How do you work from home without getting weird?

Image credit: fuzzybunn

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