Working from home - it’s something many 9-5ers dream of doing, but it’s not for everyone. The ability to set your own hours, the freedom and flexibility of not having someone watching over you all day - it’s definitely an attractive gig. Don’t get us wrong, working remotely is great; but believe it or not, the job also comes with its cons. Self-motivation and sacrifice surprisingly play big roles in this remote “dream job”.
We at Mad Media are a virtual office, meaning we ALL work from home (wherever that may be). Although we wouldn’t have it any other way, we all struggle with it from time to time. Here are 5 bad habits we’ve discovered while working from home (and how to manage them - because the struggle CAN be real).
Netflix or YouTube on in the Background
When you’re already working away at your computer, having more screens going off around you can be SO distracting. We suggest making a Spotify playlist to boost productivity and keep you in the zone; or if it’s stories you’re after, podcasts might be your thing. If you’re looking for some major efficiency inspo, here are “The Top 10 Productivity Podcasts” from inc.com.
Guys, it’s a rough life having your desk right beside the fridge. Not really, but it’s so alluring standing there all big and strong, full of last night’s Chinese leftovers. Fight the urge to get up every 20 minutes, and set some snack and mealtimes for yourself throughout the day, similar to if you were at work. Make a plan, and stick to it!
Turn Off iMessage
Group chats are a productivity killer… and we may or may not have learned this the hard way (oops!). Getting into the habit of responding to texts via desktop will start to consume so much of your ever so valuable time. Turn off your desktop notifications during working hours, and maybe even leave your phone in another room.
This might be the ultimate struggle of working from home. “I’ve got nothing scheduled until 10:00, so that means I can sleep in until 9:50.” No... just no. Getting into the habit of waking up at the same time every day, and getting yourself ready as if you were heading into the office will really help in setting yourself up for success. Hey, maybe even go for a run - take full advantage of those flexible hours. Small routines like this will help you avoid falling into a rut of sleeping in, not showering until noon (if at all), and just overall forgetting how to human. Trust us, we know from experience.
Not Laying Down Boundaries
When you work remotely, it can be hard to draw the line between office hours and personal hours. If this line becomes too blurry, you’ll find yourself overworked! Create a workspace that you feel comfortable and creative in, and make that your office. Avoid bringing your laptop to the couch, or even worse, to the bedroom.
As a virtual team, these are some of the personal tests and distractions we find ourselves facing every day and consciously have to work on. The most important lesson we’ve all learned is to never forget that you’re part of a team - especially since working remotely can become pretty lonely. Our team actively utilizes communication platforms - like Skype or Slack - to avoid the deserted island syndrome.
Now we want to hear from you, if you currently work from home, what are some hurdles you’ve had to leap over to guarantee your success? If you currently WISH you worked from home, what is is that makes it so appealing to you?