Work from Home Day #647: 5 Observations From a Work-From-Homer

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  • October 13, 2014
  • Helen Murphy

I started working from home nearly two years ago after marriage and a move landed me in Houston, Texas (well, Rosharon, Texas, if you want to be exact).

With 647 days of working from home under my belt, I’ve made a few observations and picked up a few pointers. Here are my top five.

5. You need a TON of discipline to make it work. One thing I quickly learned is that working from home takes a surprising amount of discipline. This includes the discipline to power through your workday without the benefit of an office and coworkers keeping you motivated and accountable. But also the discipline to put your work away at the end of the day and focus on home-life. Working from home blurs those lines. What worked for me was establishing that when my husband gets home from work is when I wrap up my workday. It is not always possible, but it usually gives me a solid stopping point to ensure a healthy work/life balance.

4. Getting dressed is optional… but you don’t feel as good about yourself when your husband gets home from work at 6:30 pm and you’re still in your PJs. This is the honest to goodness truth. It is a nice work-from-home perk to not have to put together an outfit, put on makeup or do your hair every day of the week. But one thing I have learned is that you should at least shower and get dressed every day. When I was in my work from home infancy, a neighbor came over at 5:30 pm to welcome us to the neighborhood and offer us some furniture she was getting rid of. I was still in my PJs and too ashamed to answer the door. She knew I was home. I knew she knew I was at home. She knew I knew she knew I was home. You get the point. It was awkward.

3. Speaking of getting dressed, once you stop getting dressed to go in to an office everyday, your work wardrobe deteriorates pretty quickly. Seriously. I have to go to a conference in New York later this week and dress business casual. I have one dress in my closet right now that will work. Take me to a conference that has a dress code of comfy casual or yoga pants-chic and I have a wardrobe that could last for weeks and weeks.

2. Not having a commute is as amazing as you think it would be. I rarely have to deal with traffic and my life is better for it. If you can find a way to limit your daily commute, do it. It is worth it.

1. Staying connected is all about the tools. I am INK’s only work-from-home employee right now, so I try to make it a priority to stay as connected as I can with my coworkers. Luckily Starr is the tool master and we use some cool software that makes it easy to keep in touch with coworkers and stay in touch with INK culture. Here are my favorites:

– Google Hangout: Sometimes working from home gets a bit lonely and you just need to see a friendly face. Google Hangout takes care of this.

– JoinMe: JoinMe makes it quick and easy to share your screen with a coworker.

– Box: I can’t even begin to tell you how much better Box is compared to having to login in to a company VPN. Box makes it so easy to share, edit and leave comments on files.

– Slack: There are a number of instant messaging platforms out there. If you like a pretty interface and giphy compatibility, give Slack a try. With Slack I can communicate with my coworkers instantly and take part in important office discussions like the one below.

Slack Chat