Working from home can be great. Flexible hours, constant cups of coffee and comfy clothes mean that we’re treated to a much more relaxed working day. However, sometimes it can be difficult to set boundaries when we’re working from home, and we start to feel as though we’re losing our professionalism. This can be a slippery slope that leads to a lack of motivation and bad work ethic. So, how can we be professional while working from home?
A home office
If possible, you should get yourself a home office that allows you to keep your work separate. This will create boundaries in your home and make it clear when you’re working and when you’re relaxing. Make sure your home office is organized, nicely decorated and an appropriate temperature, with a heater and working air conditioning (look no further than this AC repair in Las Vegas). You should also have a comfortable desk chair that supports your back and is the right height for your screen. If you’re a working parent, it’s important to establish boundaries surrounding your office and discourage your kids from playing in there. This is your workplace and it needs to be respected.
Whilst working from home can be great because of the flexible hours, it’s important to create some kind of routine or schedule. Otherwise, you might find yourself oversleeping or slipping into ridiculous hours that don’t allow you to see your family. You should treat your working day as if you were leaving the house, which means waking up at the same time every day, setting time for meals and taking breaks. Don’t be tempted to sit in your office and slurp on your lunch; you need to take time away from the screen to refocus. Plus, you could make a mess. These boundaries will instill professionalism and make you more productive when you’re working.
Another benefit of working from home is that you can wear whatever you want because no one can see you. This might make working in your pajamas extremely tempting. However, whilst you should certainly opt for comfort, staying in the clothes you slept in isn’t a good idea. You won’t feel professional, motivated – or clean. When you wake up, take a shower and change into a “working from home wardrobe”. This might be something as comfortable as pajamas, such as sweats or gym gear, or more “work-like” attire. It’s what works for you, provided you feel productive when you’re wearing it, and you’re not sitting around in the clothes you slept in. It might be a good idea to change into something more professional if you have a video meeting, too.
Turn your phone off
These days, phones are our greatest distraction. Scrolling through social media can be a huge temptation when there isn’t a manager breathing down your neck. However, while you’re working from home it may be sensible to turn your phone off or leave it in another room. That way, you won’t be tempted to look at it every time it buzzes, and you can still check up on that coat you’ve been bidding on in your breaks.