Working From Home: Paradise, Prison, or Both?

I have the feeling that everyone thinks that working from home is like a get out of jail free card.  And why wouldn't they?  You can work in your jammies, rock out to Carly Rae Jepsen (no judgement), sneak in a Broad City clip for a pick me up, or even pop a batch of cookies in the oven just for kicks.

The reality is that working from home (WFH) successfully takes a rather large amount of discipline when it comes to planning, time management, boundaries and transitioning from "work-brain" to "home-brain."  Whether you WFH full-time, part-time, on the occasion Wee Savvy needs special accommodation, or even if you have trouble shutting off your smartphone at night, our WFH survival guide will make sure you get the most out of your at-home workdays and smoothly reclaim your home space.

Savvy Working From Home Survival Guide

  • Get Space: You don't have to go on an Ikeahackathon design spree, but you do need to set up a designated work space with a chair, surface, and appropriate lighting
  • Get Wet: Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you're like me, sometimes it can be be 4PM before you realize you haven't showered. Do it right when you wake up to stimulate your mind, signify the beginning of the workday and set it in motion.
  • Get Incognito: If you can help it, never give out your home number and personal email address.  Keep a separate cell phone and email account for work-related communication.  Trust me on this.
  • Get Offline: If your schedule fluctuates, you must form an impenetrable barrier around hours that you are not working to prevent you from feeling like you're always on call.  Turn off the phone, sign out of your email, and bury your smartphone in your undies drawer when you're "out of the office."
  • Get Chi-Chi: Particularly if you're full time, create a distinct differentiation between "office=vibe" (bright lighting, stimulating music) and "home-vibe" (soft lighting, candles, soothing music)
  • Get Punchy: If you can't get your hands on an old school punch card (loved those!), create a Google spreadsheet to track of your hours and what you've accomplished.  Does a casual email check after dinner turn into a 45 minute mini work-session that could easily wait until the next day?  Don't give away your time if you can help it. Also--be a good boss and give yourself periodic breaks. Mark those down too!
  • Get Gourmet: Have a yummy breakfast to get your day in motion and take time to make a tasty lunch.  After all, one of the benefits of WFH is having access to a kitchen and your full range of spices at your fingertips—use them!
  • Get Flippy: Some people claim that putting shoes on helps set the boundaries between working and living, but I feel one of the benefits of WFH is being comfy.  I'm all for sporting a pair of flip flops indoors all year round.