5 Tips to Work From Home

And still be a boss

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Words by Lisa Hughes
September 1st, 2016

Thanks to the cultural icon known as Carrie Bradshaw, working from home has a somewhat glamorous image of days spent musing over a MacBook and flouncing off on sunny afternoons to shop for shoes, especially if you happen to be a writer or work in a creative field.

Truth is, working from home is less ‘lusting over Louboutins’ and more ‘hey, I’m married to my laptop now!’

The reality is, you’ve got the same job to do as your office-based buddies. On top of that, your home is a hotbed of distractions. Without your boss looking over your shoulder, you can easily find yourself sucked into watching Season 1 of The OC “for research purposes” or making up household chores just to avoid getting down to business. Not to mention the difficulty of just getting out of bed. The struggle is real, you guys.

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For some, working from home is the best decision they’ll ever make. For others, swapping the desk for domicile is a difficult transition. But once you make it work for you, you’ll never go back to cubicle life again. Trust us.

Here are our 5 tips for working from home while staying on top of your game:

1. Make a mini office – And no, we don’t mean your bed. Sleep experts say your bed should only be reserved for sleep so, tempting as it is to work while tucked under your duvet, don’t do it. A designated workspace is a must to avoid temptation (hello, Netflix) and be productive. Even just a desk in the corner of your living room will do the job. Make your workspace appealing by keeping clutter at bay and add a moodboard or framed inspirational quote for extra motivation points. For quirky stationery, Tiger is the ultimate budget pit stop or we love Irish company MyShiningArmour.com. Spritz some citrus scent, add a zesty scented candle to boost alertness or add some fresh flowers. Before you know it, you’ll be happy to rock up to your desk each morning.

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2. Treat every day like a work day – We know, we know, working in your One Direction onesie while banging away on your laptop at all hours is one of the joys of not having to go into an office but the easiest way to get things done is to treat each day like a proper work day. Get up early, get dressed, take a lunch break and stick to an office-like routine to get into a productive mindset. Which leads us nicely to the next step…

3. Watch your work/life balance – When you work remotely, it’s all too easy to put off your assignments during the day and do fun things like shopping for new threads instead. To catch up, you end up staring at the computer screen at midnight and before you know it, your sleep pattern is haywire. Sticking to a roughly 9-5 schedule as much as possible – and knowing when to switch off – will stop your work slowly taking over the rest of your life.

4. Change of scenery – Even if you’ve got yourself set up with a cute office space, working in the same spot day in, day out is enough to make anyone go a bit Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Mix it up and try working in a quiet hotel lobby, that hip new café you’ve been meaning to try or a meeting space in a gallery or museum once a week. Once you’ve got WiFi, caffeine and a socket, you’re sorted.

5. Stay in the loop – An unexpected benefit of being away from the office is that you escape workplace politics and negativity. The downside is you’re usually the last to hear about a new opportunity or promotion. Some work experts argue that working remotely can cost you career-wise as a result. To make sure you’re always on the radar, make a real effort to go to office nights out (yes, that means the dreaded Christmas party) or just pop in to the office once and a while. Befriending your workmates and making sure they see you as more than just a name on an email is vital so you’re the first person they think of when a new job opens up. Plus, it’s good to leave the house every once in a while. Or so they say…

Is your workwear in need of a rework? Find out how to update your wardrobe here