Who would have thought that working from home would suddenly be the norm?
As company workflows adjust across the world in these uncertain times, I know many people that have had to suddenly start working from home exclusively for the first time.
So, I thought it was the perfect time to share my work from home journey and the tips that have helped me stay balanced, productive, and embrace the work from home lifestyle!
I didn’t always work from home. My first business was a lifestyle sports business that served children in our local public school system. I was on soccer fields, in schools, and “out in the field” more than I was home. This was my norm for 5 years.
So, when I launched my online e-commerce brand, I experienced a HUGE shift in workflow and “work from home” suddenly became my new norm.
My Top 5 Work From Home Tips:
#1 - Make A List
It may seem obvious, but I’m here to tell you that when you’re working from home this is an absolute MUST!
You may, like I did, have the complete misconception that working from home means less distractions, but the truth is, it’s totally the opposite. Everywhere you look there’s a distraction. Suddenly, there’s a cat on your keyboard (you have to take a break to pet her...because ummm, she’s adorable).
Seriously, though, you WILL get distracted. Your lists will ensure you get everything accomplished that you want to and help you refocus when you get off track. There are tons of softwares out there to help you. I used trello for a long time, but a good old-fashioned pen and paper work just as well!
(List Tip: Prioritize! Do the big ones first. You’ll be glad you did!)
#2 - Have Dedicated Workspaces
Ok, so when you first start working from home it can be thrilling to hunker down on your bed in your jammies and get to work. Trust me, I’ve done it - and sometimes still do. That’s ok….but, it should be an occasional occurrence instead of your normal workspace.
There’s a lot of research about separating where you sleep from where you work. It just isn’t a good idea on a regular basis. So, setting aside a workspace, or even a couple of different options (in case the flow of your home and others you share it with don’t work with one space all the time) is the best idea.
This does not mean you need an office! You just need a dedicated space to work from that when you go to that space you know, it’s time to work!
It could be your dining room table by day, or your coffee table by night (tv off…of course). Take a moment to decide what works for you and your family and set yourself up in your new home “office”.
#3 - Get Dressed
Again, jammies and workout clothes are top on the work from home “uniform” lists, but I found that if I didn’t get dressed and ready for the day, it did impact my productivity. Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you need to be in sweats all day.
Don’t get me wrong, it is the reason I created our KN Brami, a top that can go from work to the gym, the coffee shop to a presentation (no bra necessary...btw).
I was looking for comfort, versatility and style! Brami ✔
It’s great to have the freedom of comfort, but there are ways to dress for work and still be comfortable. There’s just something about getting dressed that triggers our brain into work mode. Changing into our loungewear then signals that we are no longer at work and we can relax and let go of it.
This may actually be more important when working from home than working outside the home. There are so many other triggers when you work away from home (leaving, being in a different place, sharing space with others), but your clothes may be the one boundary that you have when you work from home. Create those now and you will see the difference!
#4 - Practice Self Care/Balance
Do any of you get working and just can’t stop? Do you skip lunch, or constantly think of additional things you can do throughout the day and night? ME TOO!
I thought that working from home would mean I would take more breaks, instead I took less. I thought I would be able to walk away and go about my home life easily…..not so much. The computer was always there. Another idea always popping up. When you can walk back into work by walking across the room, you can get REALLY unbalanced.
This issue is exactly how I found our first e-commerce product to sell, our KN Blue Light Glasses.
While working from home in the evenings for my first business, I ended up working long hours staring at the computer screen. I didn’t balance my time, and it led to sleep issues, eye strain, and headaches. I knew I had to find a solution…..a stylish one...and our Klassy Blue Light Glasses became our first product.
To make sure you take care of yourself and stay balanced:
- Take scheduled breaks (yes, schedule them)
- Get out of the house (take a walk or eat lunch outside)
- Acquire the tools needed (for me, Blue Light Glasses were a MUST)
- Don’t forget to work out (work from home or not, it’s just good for you!)
#5 - Join a Network
This is probably one of the most important tips I can give you. Working from home can be isolating, but we now have the benefit of optional ways to network and socialize. I am a VERY social person, so when I reduced my face-to-face interactions, I really felt it.
So, I started reaching out to other entrepreneurs online and created connections with business coaches, and other e-commerce leaders. I was blown away at the difference it made! The truth is, it surprised me that I could feel so close to a network that was almost completely online.
This is why I started the Klassy Network. My vision, after experiencing some isolation in the beginning of my journey, was to help other people connect with each other and share their ideas, stories, and experiences. It has led to helping others, mentorship with others that have been a step ahead of me, and creating a network that I can really rely on.
During this time, I have created a FREE Facebook group called Klassy Network The Community to make sure I’m offering to others, one of the most important parts of my growth and success as a business owner.
If you are an ambitious person, a business owner, or someone that wants to learn more about business and thriving in these uncertain times, we would LOVE to have you in our Network! Our products serve women, but our business network serves anyone looking for somewhere to share, connect and grow!
Let’s get through this together. Click Here to join the network.
It took me a little while to get used to my work from home life, and I hope my tips help you transition, or just give you a good reminder if you need it.
Take care of yourself.
Talk Soon! XOXO
Natalie, Founder & CEO of Klassy Network