When I was still being considered for my position with At That Point, Juanita mentioned there would be opportunities to work from home. I was of course very excited - no sitting in traffic, no getting dressed up if I didn't feel like it and the freedom to create my own work flow with no unplanned interruptions from people arriving at your office or silly office conversations that can make me lose focus.
We recently decided that everyone in the office can work from home two days a week but still come in for office days Tuesday to Thursday. And I quickly realised that working from home - and being productive! - requires a certain amount of commitment and focus.
Create a dedicated work space
Although working from the comfort of my bed or living room couch was initially appealing, I simply couldn't focus, only getting about half the work done I had had on my to-do list for the day. I decided to create a dedicated work space with a comfortable desk and chair, my radio and some personal items to make it more "user-friendly". Being able to sit at a desk and work, my focus returned and it was much easier getting things done.
By personalising the space, I also now have another corner in the house that reflects who I am and inspires me when I lack focus.
Show up for work
Yes, being able to roll over in PJ's and prop the laptop up on my lap was certainly fun in the beginning but it quickly took it's toll. I am a late sleeper. Or no wait, I am just not a morning person. So going straight from waking up to starting work did not go down too well with me. Although I did get engrossed in my work and often found myself having completed hours of work before looking at the clock, I had less energy and focus after taking that first break. In addition, I also forgot to have breakfast, brush my teeth or my hair.
Yes. Don't judge me.
So I decided to make a concerted effort to getting up and going through the motions of getting ready for work - yes including the necessary grooming! This helped me by getting my head into work mode, planning my day and starting off refreshed.
Laundry bin is overflowing. The cat litter needs to be changed. The dishes from last night are still in the sink. These distractions drove me absolutely crazy in the beginning! I could hear the laundry laughing at me. I could feel the dishes staring at me, daring me to come do the washing up. I simply couldn't concentrate and then ended up spending 4 or more hours sorting out house stuff.
Hubby is on washing up duty. He faithfully washes up every night, even when he has worked late or doesn't feel like it. Hubby also deals with the cat litter (thank goodness, once was enough for me!). And the rest? Well, with a proper plan on when which housework gets done, it doesn't distract me during work hours anymore.
So having overcome these small challenges, working from home is a joy. Not only for me but also for my colleagues. We're in a fortunate situation that we don't lose any of our "mojo" if we work remotely. The days spent together at the office is more productive, more focused - and still a lot of fun!