More and more women are working from home and not just working moms looking for more flexibility. As a growing number of women are becoming business entrepreneurs, many are establishing themselves with home offices. Working from home has it perks. Answering the phone in your pajamas is perfectly acceptable. Fielding emails over your morning oatmeal or a late night snack is also acceptable. But there are some serious drawbacks to working from home. It can be more difficult to disconnect from work when it’s right there next to you. Distractions can interfere with your work. Fixing yourself a sandwich can quickly turn into tidying the kitchen, throwing in a load of laundry and starting dinner. Before you know it, you’ve lost two hours and now you need to walk the dog before you can get back to that project you need finished by 9:00 am tomorrow.
So how do you make working from home work for you? A few tips:
Establish a separate office space, preferably not a corner in your bedroom. This cuts down on distractions and trains your brain to settle into work when you’re in that space. It also allows you to walk away from work and be at home. This is crucial if you have a family. They will need to respect your workspace.
Routine! Have set office hours. Having set working times and set down times allows you to manage stress better. Yes, you can go to the gym in the middle of the day if you want, but schedule your working hours around it. Again, routine will be important if you have family or even friends who assume that because you’re home, you’re not busy.
Get out of the house from time to time. Working from home is great but you don’t want to become a recluse either. Pick one day a week to work from a coffee shop. Join your local chamber of commerce. Attend networking functions. Something, anything to keep you connected with real live human beings.