It just occurred to me that I’ve been working remote for a whole year now. It’s certainly been an, ummm, interesting experience. And it’s not like I have the option to go into the office and I’m just staying at home – my office is 3,000 miles away – so whether or not I actually enjoy working from my apartment, it’s something I’ve had to deal with. There are some things I love about it, some things I hate, and a lot to get used to. And I’d say that after doing this for a solid year, I’m qualified as a working from home expert.
The option to work from home is becoming more ubiquitous throughout the workplace, whether it’s a twice-a-week kind of thing, or one of those “flex” options where you can basically do it whenever you want, or something entirely different you may have worked out with your company. Whatever situation you’re finding yourself in, enjoy it. Working from home is prettayyyy prettayyyy prettayyyy good. But you have to be careful, too. You don’t want to abuse your power. This isn’t an invitation to watch seven hours of Netflix and do one hour of actual work (or is it?!). While there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to work from home, I’ve got a few recommendations on how to maximize the experience.
Don’t spend too much time in bed
If you’ve got your own home office or something, congrats on being a millionaire, but also that’s clutch and should be where you work. But, if you’re like me and live in an apartment, the temptations to just work from bed (or the couch) all day can be overwhelming. And I’m not saying you can’t, but I’m advising you don’t spend too much time in bed. That leads to sleepiness, which leads to naps. (If you’re going to nap, have that volume jacked up on your computer so you wake up when you get noties from email/Slack/Skype/Gmail, whatever).
Don’t work with the TV on
Daytime TV is trash (except for soaps, but you can’t work and still give your soaps the attention they deserve). TV can be too distracting. Now, music is great, but I’ve also found it to be pretty lonely, too. Music is great for an office, especially when you don’t want to actually interact with anyone, but when you’re alone all day, it can get very isolating. I’ve actually found that throwing on a podcast (may I recommend the critically acclaimed Touching Base?) or something like sports talk radio (I’m a sucker for Boston sports talk radio) can help with the feelings of loneliness and insulation by simulating office chatter.
Get out of the house at least once
This is critical. I cannot overstate this. You HAVE to leave your house at least once during the day. Walk to the corner store to do some errands. Go grab a coffee. Take a gym break. Whatever it is, you got to leave the house and interact with other humans, even if you’re just around them but don’t actually talk with them (preferable, IMO). I like to spread my errands out over the week to give me some excuse to get out when the sun’s out. Groceries one day, haircut another, etc. The gym is a great reprieve, too. If you can go during the day when it’s less crowded, DO IT. It’s amazing.
Take advantage of your kitchen
While working from home, you’ve got your whole kitchen at your disposal. It’s a great opportunity to do some cooking and meal prep (#fitfam #instafit #mealprep), especially if you have multiple roommates and the kitchen is always a shitshow after work. One of the best things about constantly working from home is I can eat when I want, what I want, and don’t have to worry about bringing it all into an office. When I worked in an office I used to bring this giant salad bowl and fill it up to the brim with veggies, meat, eggs, what have you. Tried to get like three meals and a snack out of it every day (you know, for #gainz). Don’t have to do that anymore now that the whole kitchen is at my disposal.
Dominate a proposal? Crush a deliverable? Reward yourself, you deserve it. In the office, maybe that was taking a few minutes to catch up on your favorite Peej content, or taking a long coffee break, or wandering the streets aimlessly for a while. Sometimes I used to just get in my car and drive. Got myself lost and tried to find my way back. Was a great mental break. But now that you’re home? Jerk off. Flick the bean.
Those are five little tricks to make working from home a smooth experience where you get shit done and don’t lose your mind drowned in loneliness. Above all, make sure you’re enjoying your work from home experience. You can drape yourself head to toe in athleisure like I do, you can take calls from your rooftop pool middle of the day like I do, and you can completely avoid all the office talk bullshit like I do. Working from home is amazing, you just have to get used to it and get your routine down. .