Six Tips For Working From Home
In today’s mobile world, nearly 50% of Americans say they spend at least some time working from home or working remotely. While working from the comfort of your own haven may sound cush, it’s imperative to create a routine and environment that promote productivity and draw clear lines between where work and play take place. Shay Onorio, president and cofounder of DC Metro based digital branding agency Red Thinking, runs an entirely remote company by design.
Here are her 6 practical tips to stay successful – and sane – while working from home.
Get Up and Move
It is important to keep the blood circulating throughout the day, no matter where you sit. By getting up, taking a brisk walk and clearing your head, you give way to fresh ideas while also giving your body a chance to loosen up. Without coworkers around urging you to run down to the local coffee shop or a boss who has beckoned you into a conference room for the 10th time that day, you have to stay conscious of getting up and moving around as regularly as your schedule allows.
Shay’s Top Tip: Take calls using headphones and walk around your house or office space while you chat.
Maintain Your Sleep Schedule
Just because you don’t commute doesn’t mean you should sleep in an extra hour. Not only is a regular sleep schedule critical to maintaining health in general, but the Mayo Clinic says it’s the foundation for overall healthy habits and I couldn’t agree more. Your brain – and body – will thank you.
Shay’s Top Tip: As tempting as it is, the only reason you should be reaching for your cell phone in the morning is to start that meditation app. Give yourself the space to open your emails when you “start” work, not while you’re still in bed waking up.
Create an Inspired Work Space
Maybe it’s a pretty sketch or painting on the wall of your workspace or perhaps it’s a funny, whimsical tape dispenser. Whatever you choose to create an inspiring work space, it should be something that sparks joy and makes you feel comfortable and happy in your space. There is no need for old boring manila folders anymore; stores are carrying items that are functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Stay’s Top Tip: Choose a color that makes you smile and decorate your office area with pops of it. The Container Store is the perfect place to find colorful, yet functional, office accessories.
Keep a Regular Routine
Commit to office hours. Otherwise, you’ll be responding to emails while trying to hang with your friends or family. The office can and should close. Everyone risks burnout, but it’s more likely when you refuse to turn off and unplug from email, phone and clients. Make office hours and stick to them or else you will end up answering emails at 11:00pm and that is healthy for no one.
Shay’s Top Tip: When you go on vacation, put an out-of-office up. This can be tempting to forego when your office can be anywhere, but it is a good way to unplug and know emails aren’t going unanswered.
Shower and get dressed in the morning.
Just because you might not have to report to a boss or present to a room full of execs, doesn’t mean you can’t get motivated to take a shower and get dressed. You’ve heard the phrase “Dress for Success”, right? Well, it applies to folks who work from home, too! You don’t have to wear a suit but don’t start work until you are at least out of your pajamas.
Shay’s Top Tip: Save money on your wardrobe but still keep it fresh by trying clothing subscription services. A great option is Rent The Runway, which allows you to rotate a number of high end, work appropriate clothing for client meetings without a significant investment.
Find a good spot to get out and work at, too.
Don’t glue yourself to your home every single day. You need to interact with people! Now that WiFi is almost universally available in every coffee shop you encounter, it’s fairly easy to find a mobile, remote office location without too much effort. Energy, sunlight and human interaction is a great way to inspire and help you to focus on that days’ tasks.
Shay’s Top Tip: You’d be surprised how many folks you can meet if you set up shop somewhere other than a coffee shop. That can get dull by early afternoon. I’ve met individuals that might be good additions to the team, found new business introductions (and wins), met new friends and built relationships for team building opportunities or leads. There’s one spot by me that on a random Wednesday there can be 8-10 people lined up with their laptops open. We jokingly call it the office and chat about our weeks.
This guest post was authored by Shay Onorio.
As President & partner of Red Thinking, Shay Onorio heads up business development and client services. Shay’s ability to maneuver the client services rodeo and guide overall business operations with her insightful instincts and acute business knowledge has enabled her to ensure Red Thinking delivers the unexpected; with the end-game goal of providing thought-provoking and effective strategy and creative for clients.