FREELANCING / JUN. 09, 2014
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How to Smoothly Adjust to a Work from Home Job

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For many, the idea of having a work from home job is pure bliss. But, like anything in this crazy world, it does have its pros and cons - you may be able to saunter straight from bed to your lounge based office, however, during the day you may end up feeling isolated and out of motivation. So, you’ve just landed yourself a solid work from home venture, but how do you adjust smoothly to your new homely surroundings? Here are a few tips:

Clearly, no one wants to be uncomfortable when they’re working, but this is well worth mentioning.

By getting a comfortable chair, ergonomic work space and creating a neat, organised environment, you’ll find it a lot easier to adjust to working at home. By emulating an office style workstation, you’ll be more inclined to concentrate and get the job done.

Establish Your Routine

From day one, it is essential that you create a structured daily routine during work hours to ensure that you’re able to work consistently on a daily basis. Set your alarm, have your breakfast, get dressed as you normally would and if you feel lost without a real commute, walk down to the shops to get the paper and upon return, get stuck into your work. This is a great way of bridging the gap between working in an office and working from home.

Get Rid of Any Potential Clutter

Now, you’ve left the office and you’re just about to start your new working from home venture - this is a new chapter and should be treated as one.

If you have saved organisational documents or advisory emails, pieces of motivational paperwork or knick knacks from your old job, get rid of as much stuff as you can. By all means, bring a couple of token things, as by having them around your home workstation, you’ll find that their familiarity will help you adjust, but make sure you don’t get bogged down with it. By taking a load of stuff related to your old job, you’ll find it will take you longer to break away from it and this will have a negative effect on your productivity.

Take a Break

When first working from home, it can be easy to forget to take a screen break once in a while as there’s usually no one to have a casual chat or a coffee with, but it is essential to do so.

It is unhealthy to work for hours on end without stopping, so as you would when being in the office, get up stretch your legs, make a call to a friend (keeping in regular contact with other humans is a must for working from home survival!) or even go for a walk around the block.

Again, this will help you maintain structure to your working day, stay sane and stay healthy which is the most important thing when working from home.

Brain Food!

Now, this may sound silly but it certainly does help. You have access to your own fully-equipped kitchen and you don’t have Gladis from accounts hogging the amenities, so why don’t you cook up something more substantial than a pot of noodles or a sandwich?

As we all know, certain foods provide us with the fuel to help our minds and bodies. We need this fuel in order to do a good job - especially when working at home. Why? Because when you first make the transition, you may be shocked at how distracted you become by your new workspace, so you’ll need brain foodsin order to give you that extra focus and concentration (it really does help).

Foods such as oily fish, whole grains, blueberries and broccoli are great for brain focus so get in the kitchen in the morning and at lunchtime and give yourself the fuel you need.  

Accept the Fact That It’s Different

Although there are many similarities (i.e having to do some work!), working from home is not the same as working in a bustling office and when making the leap, many people find it hard as they simply can’t accept the change.

Emulating certain parts of your previous job is a must in order to adjust and maintain order when working from home, however, if you don’t face the fact that your day to day life has really changed, you’ll never be able to get on with things.

In those first few weeks, make a few tweaks to your daily routine - things that you wouldn’t usually be able to do in an office - work in a silly costume, dust off that old acoustic guitar at lunch time, do a bit of karaoke...the list goes on! By doing this, you are allowing yourself to adapt to your new working environment, and you’ll quickly realise, working from home does have its perks.

Persevere and Put Things into Perspective

When you have just started working from home, you are bound to experience a few initial difficulties and teething problems, but remember this is natural.

At the point when you start finding things tough - stop working, grab yourself a warm drink and take some time to reflect. Take a few breaths and spend some time thinking about what made you leave your previous job in the first place - obviously something has inspired you to take such a giant leap and by remembering why you made the decision in the first place, you’ll be able to cope in those first few weeks or months.

Working from home can be tough, lonely and hard to handle at times, but with a little grit, determination and patience, the good far outweighs the bad - just remember, you’re doing this for you and before you know it, you’ll find working from home a piece of cake.

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