Working from home, or working remotely, has become a somewhat popular trend over the last few years, and it certainly has some benefits: Lack of commute time, employee morale boosts, even potential improvement in productivity. I’m fortunate to work for an employer that allows for one “work from home” day per week; however, I rarely take advantage of this opportunity, as my house is a mere half-mile, 10-minute walk from my office, and I feel more productive when I am at my desk, with my phone and co-workers immediately available. That being said, I do occasionally need to be home throughout the day for some reason or another. Over the last several months, I have realized there is one essential tactic to making remote work effective.
Leave your home in the morning.
Think about it. When you go through the morning routines of hygiene, breakfast / coffee, locking up, and driving (or however you travel) to work, you have already gotten yourself into the process of doing things. You are already making things happen. When you work from home, it’s very easy to fall into a rut of stumbling downstairs from your bedroom, sitting down on the couch, then staring at your computer screen, losing focus and checking personal email, Facebook, and so forth.
So when you work from home, don’t just go through your regular morning routines, but actually leave your home for a little while. Go to a coffee shop, pick up some items at the grocery store, grab breakfast somewhere, what have you: The point is to get outside. On the rare occasions that I do work remotely, I like to start my morning by going to a local diner and getting a cup of decaf coffee and a bagel, after which I start responding to emails that piled up over the previous night. Doing this ensures that I’m not only looking respectable to the outside world, but I’ve also gotten myself into the process of getting things done.
When you feel good, look good and start the day off well, you will succeed.