Like most people, I have my good days and bad. But every once in a while you have one of those days that just takes everything out of you physically, mentally and sometimes emotionally. At Integrate, we are fortunate enough to have a culture that allows us to work from home one day a month, for just such a day. Whether you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or just need to recuperate from a long night at a client event, the option is there for our team once a month, as a kind of mini re-boot.
Although it has grown in popularity, many people may still be skeptical of the work-from-home concept, but I can assure you, it can result in as a productive day, often times allowing us to get even more done without the added stresses and distractions of office life. I have found ways to stay motivated and focused while working from home, so I am sharing my tips on how to make a day working from home, as productive as possible.
1. Wake up with your weekday alarm. Although working from home cuts down on commute and preparation time, I still get out of bed at the same time and hop in the shower, as I would on any weekday in the office, to get a jump on the day and maintain my routine.
2. Dress for the day. While I may dress-down a little bit to work from home, I still need to feel ready for the day. I’ll throw on a pair of comfortable jeans and a button down, instead of pajamas or sweatpants with a t-shirt.
3. Minimize the distractions. I try to keep my schedule as if I were in the office. I make my coffee and eat breakfast before getting to work, and let the dog out so she’s not begging to play. I do keep the news on quietly in the background, just as it would be at my desk.
4. Keep a clear head. I can sometimes get overwhelmed with thinking about looming tasks around the house, such as dishes and laundry, so if that starts to happen, much like when I get overwhelmed with to-dos at the office, I’ll get up and take a walk for a few minutes outside to re-focus.
5. Update team members. I like to make sure that my team members know that I’m having a productive day and am staying on task, so I’ll often send updates at the very beginning of the day about what’s on my plate, and another in the late afternoon addressing all that I’ve gotten done, anything new that came up or tasks that have been moved to another day. At Integrate, we tend to over-communicate with our team members, the more our counterparts know, the better, so this just makes sure that nothing was missed by me being out of the office and everyone is on the same page.
My final piece of advice would be to think about what you have going on when you decide to work from home. Is it a hectic Monday, or a slower Friday? Are there meetings or conference calls? Will you be expecting a lot of phone calls and asks from clients, or doing more research and internal tasks? Thinking ahead will keep the anxiety level low for everyone and make sure that you are out of the office on a day that makes the most sense for everyone.
I cherish my monthly work from home day, and I always look forward to spending the day at home, sheltered from the city hype and stress of traffic.
Written by: Allison Huseman