As I ushered in 2014, I made the transition to working from a home office. Ah, yes, I was finally working from home; something I had only fantasized about up until that point. It seemed too good to be true, I will admit. Friends were envious, and I was certainly excited not to have to wear dress “slacks” or “trousers”, or do simple things like comb my hair and shave.
How is all that working out for me?
It’s okay, I guess. Sure, setting my alarm for five minutes before the start of the work day is a perk. Also, given the weather we’ve been graced with this winter, it’s nice not to have to brave that commute.
As many have, my greatest concern was my motivation. Would I just watch TV? Sleep in? Spoil the cat (even more)? This proved not to be an issue. I am proud to say the television has not been turned on once during “office” hours, I am wired to awaken before 8:30 (whether I like it or not), and the cat just sleeps all day anyway; he’d be grouchy if I woke him up.
The challenge I am facing is the sense of accomplishment. Before, I at least could go home at night feeling good about what I contributed to the office; conversations with candidates and colleagues, or just contributing to the culture. Being one of the team. I also could at least feel proud that I managed to put on nice clothes, do my hair, and drive to work without incident. Little things.
At home, when things don’t go your way, it can feel like you did not accomplish a single thing. This is what I struggled with at first: a depleted sense of worth. What value did I add, if I did not achieve a tangible outcome?
This line of thinking, of course, is defeating, and thankfully I overcame these feelings before they became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
SO here are some techniques I utilize to stay motivated, and confident:
- Set a schedule: lunch is at 12:30. No matter what. Caving in to mid-morning cravings can throw your motivation off kilter. Early lunch? Chances are that will turn into two lunches.
- Get dressed: Yes, “slacks”. Or at least something more than a bathrobe. Because at least you have that at the end of the day, and are not still in pyjamas at 5:30 PM.
- Go into the office: If your employer has office space available, use it from time to time. You are not an island, you are still part of the team even if you are only a “special guest star” at times.
- Don’t work where you sleep: I have since moved, however at first my home office doubled as the bedroom. I did not succumb to an afternoon nap (honest!) but working with a big bed immediately behind you, can certainly be a de-motivator.
So, little things. Working from home isn’t the fantasy it’s cracked up to be but it has its perks; just don’t trip on the cracks.
by Kam Deep, Guest Blogger for Agilec