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FMTC Behind the Scenes:
Workspaces & Working From Home Tips
Working from home is a goal for more than 80% of the US population. With 3.7 million individuals telecommuting, the portion of the workforce that works from home at least half of the time has grown by 103% since 2005 .
While working from home has widespread appeal, it isn’t without its challenges. My father-in-law recently visited our home while I was working. I was sitting at the table typing away. He said, “I see you’re hard at work.” (Insert a thick coating of sarcasm)
Success requires the understanding from others in your home, and it’s up to you to communicate, in advance, when you’re unavailable. You can roll with the punches when some extended family and friends don’t understand what you do, but you will not thrive if your household doesn’t know what to expect. This truth took me way too long to acknowledge.
Everybody that works from home has a unique perspective on what works for them. Sixteen members of the FMTC team have provided some insightful working from home tips and a pic of their workspaces! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as it was a pleasure for me to put them together.
Do something you love. There are so many distractions at home, and nobody looking over your shoulder. So, do something that you want to do – something that will pull you to your desk and make you forget that time exists (or that your family will eventually come home to find you still sitting in your PJs well into the afternoon or evening.) -Rachel Honoway
Change up where you work. When I get stuck on something, or feel like I’m in a rut, a change of scenery will do wonders. I also feel more accountable when I’m around other people, so a day at a Cowork location or coffee shop really boosts my productivity (exception: if I have a lot of calls, stay home). It’s like when you’re out running & see another runner, your pace picks up! – Eric Nagel
Create a weekly schedule of regular tasks. Use a reminder app or timers to remind you of tasks that need to be completed by a certain time and check them off from your list as you complete them. Leave some margin time to allow your brain to unwind and you’ll find yourself getting new ideas. – Nate Smith
Take care of distractions before you sit down to work. The worst thing for me to do is think I can ignore dishes in the sink or a bill to be paid, only to have it eerily whisper my name, beckoning me to abandon my post while my team cries in the distance for help. – Tiana Feely
It takes me a good cup or 3 of coffee in the morning to really get going, so I end every day by making sure my tomorrows “to-do list” is set! This way I don’t have to start my morning trying to remember what I need to accomplish for the day or what I didn’t get accomplished the day before. I can focus on grabbing a JUMBO cup of coffee and tumbler full of water then getting right to work! – Alicia Jurek
Get up and get dressed as if you were going to work, I find it helps in productivity. Staying in your lounge clothes allows you to sink into the “home atmosphere” a bit too much and I find it to be less productive. – Danielle Patchell
Set office hours. It’s easy to become distracted by home when you’re working and by work when you’re supposed to be at home. Office hours help me manage the many different roles I play while in my home. – Amy Powell
Lots of natural light. Have something that encourages you on your desk, something that calms you, something that grounds your soul and a fail safe focus helper! – Amy Walsh
Each day around midday, go outside and get 15 minutes of sun on as much skin as possible. Could be the single most important thing you do for your physical and mental health (via vitamin D synthesis and other benefits.) – Anthony DiSante
Welcome distractions at home! It’s going to happen whether I like it or not, and the more I adjust for it the happier and more productive I am. 🙂 (And I am less of a hermit that way…lol) – Kim Cashwell
The majority of people go home to get away from work. When working from home, you don’t have that option. Make sure you still maintain a careful work-life balance. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you should be working all the time while you’re home. – Donny Hansen
Keep your work space as clean and organized as you can. If it’s messy, you can easily be distracted and lose track of things. Minimize notes and papers by keeping them in a folder. Organization truly does save time! – Larissa Feuerstein
Stay focused on 1 big task until completion. If that is not possible then take it as far as you can and write yourself a note (hence the notebook on my desk) and go back to it. As a Nurse I am used to multitasking and I am not bothered by any external stimuli. I have my desk facing the window so I can have a little contact with the outside world. – Christine Coulombe
Surround yourself with things that inspire you and make you happy. Also, when you are not feeling focused. Get up – take 10 minutes – meditate, go for a walk, exercise ..do something that will reset you and get back to it! – Megan Bireta
Always keep a cup of coffee in hand; and, make a plan, then stick to it. Nothing is worse than taking a random break, then having your finish time thrown around. If you make your schedule, know how long you can focus and work around that. – Samantha Doletzky
Take a couple of micro breaks of 2-5 minutes each day and do something artistic or fun. I like to play my guitar! – Neal Jacobson
I hope you’ve taken away some ideas that you can make your own. The FMTC team would also enjoy hearing your tips for working from home success. Please leave a comment with your word of advice!