Working remotely from home is a great way to be more productive and reduce your stress level, with the added bonus of knowing you are helping the environment!
At Xojo, we are a “virtual company” where everyone works from home! Personally I've been working remotely from home full-time for almost 10 years. As more people and companies are are considering remote work, here are some of my tips to help you stay efficient.
Do not just work at the kitchen table or in some other temporary area, you’ll have too many distractions and interruptions. Your work space does not have to be large, but a dedicated space will make it easier for you to stay focused.
To keep your home and work lives from overlapping too much, work only when in your work space. Treat it as going to the office. Avoid working when not in your work space.
If there are others at home while you are working it can be easy for them to forget you are working. Have rules in place for your office hours such as “when the door is closed, do not interrupt” and “when it is open, you may visit”, but make sure everyone understands and agrees to them.
Get up at the same time every day. Always shower, get dressed and eat breakfast- don’t work in your pajamas! And remember to take breaks as it’s far too easy to work too many hours in a row without moving, which is not healthy.
So leave your desk and go eat (a healthy) lunch or go for walk!
Working from home can be lonely for some. You can mitigate this by taking advantage of the many ways to remotely communicate with others. Software such as Skype, Google Hangouts, GotoMeeting and Zoom make it incredibly easy to do multi-person video and audio conferencing. I especially like Zoom which I use every day.
Instant Messaging software is another great way to chat with others easily. I primarily use a combination of Messages and Slack. Social networks (forums, Facebook, Twitter) also allow you to interact with others, but be careful to not let them distract you from getting your actual work done!
And if at times you truly need to be in the same space with actual humans, consider looking into coworking offices in your area. A coworking office is a community office that people can share while working. Usually there is a membership fee, but it can vary based on how often you use the space. For others, a coffee or tea shop can serve the same purpose, if you can handle the noise!
Working from home is incredibly convenient, which makes it far too easy to work far too much. So try to enjoy the flexibility you have. Eat lunch outside on nice days. Go for a walk. Attend family activities. Don’t let work consume your entire life as that is ironically the one way to end up being completely inefficient.
If you'd like to work remotely from home I highly recommend the book Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinmemeier Hansson.