Working from home sounds like a dream come true. For anyone who has never experienced it before, they imagine a life of waking up at noon, lying around in pajamas, and typing on a laptop. The reality is drastically different than the dream. It truly can be a challenge, because it has its own set of unique issues that will present themselves in daily life.
10. Create a Designated Home Office Space
A study by the UN International Labor Organization shows that people who work from home experience a huge spike in insomnia. This is because when we work from home, our brains have difficulty distinguishing between “work space” and “relaxation space”. Normally, when you drive to an office, you know that is your work space. And your mind immediately relaxes when you come home, because that is your place of rest. There is a clear dividing line between your physical space, time, and mental state.
But if your home is your work space, it will be nearly impossible for your brain to know when it’s time to work, and when it’s time to relax. For some people, you may become a bit lazy, and your brain will be in non-stop relaxation mode. But if you are a workaholic, it will be hard for you to get a good night’s sleep, or give yourself permission to ever stop working. This is why typing on your laptop in bed or setting up your desk in your bedroom is a bad idea. If you have an extra bedroom, set it up like your home office. Or, at the very least, sit down at your kitchen table with your laptop, and avoid working from bed whenever possible.
9. Dress for Success
When you work from home, you can wear anything you want. And for the first few days after handing in your letter of resignation, you may be tempted to wear pajamas 24/7, because you can. However, just like the division between physical spaces, our mind and body associate certain clothes with our mood, as well. It is crucial for you to get showered, dressed, and get ready as if you are going to work. (Because you are! Even if “work” is just a few steps from the bathroom.)
We’re not saying that you should wear an uncomfortable suit or dress just to sit at your desk alone all day. That’s just silly. Wear clothing that is comfortable, but still presentable. Remember that even though you work from home, you still have to interact with the world when you go on errands, out for lunch, or Skype calls.
8. Find a Coworking Space
After trying to work from home, you may truly find it next-to-impossible to concentrate. Going to the library or a cafe is a good option for giving yourself time out of the house. But unfortunately, it may not be the quietest place to get things done, either, and it can often be even more distracting than just trying to summon the willpower to continue working at home.
Coworking spaces are businesses that provide desks for people to work in peace, in exchange for a monthly fee. They usually have different price points, depending on the amenities you get. For example, you might only pay $100 a month to take your laptop to whatever desk happens to be open that day, or $300 a month for a private office. Most people who pay for these spaces are in the same boat as you, so they respect each other’s need for peace and quiet. But there are also networking events where you can meet local entrepreneurs, as well.