I've been working exclusively from home for over 2 years now. I've been seeing several posts from people talking about adjusting to working from home, so I figured I would compile a list of tips I've learned over the years to help make the adjustment easier for some people.

1) Limit as many distractions as possible. WFH makes it much easier to get distracted. If you have roommates/family members at home, ask them politely to leave you alone while you're working. Make sure the TV is turned off, put your phone on silent, etc.

2) Take regular breaks. I find it easier to accidentally go hours without taking a real break from work. Try working in half hour intervals, and then taking 5-10 minute breaks. Read an article, watch a youtube video, grab some coffee/tea, etc.

3) When you eat lunch, eat it away from your computer. I often find myself eating lunch trying to wrap up fixing a bug, which makes it feel like I never really "took a lunch." Lately I've been trying to step away and do something else completely unrelated to work.

4) Get ready for work like you normally would. It's very easy to wake up, throw on your favorite pair of sweats and sit at the computer with messy hair half awake "ready" to start the day. Instead try doing your normal morning routine before sitting at your computer. It will help your mind and body go into "it's time to work" mode.

5) Keep your work area clean. I find it very difficult to work when my workspace is cluttered. Studies have shown working in a messy place tend to make us less efficient.

6) Keep your work area work related. Try to only have the things you need for work in your workspace. If you're working from your personal computer this can be difficult. I always end up with camera/music equipment left over from the previous night's photo editing/jam sessions. So try to clean off your desk when you're done for the night so it's ready for work in the morning.

7) Prepare for meetings. I have alarms set 10 minutes in advance so I can go from programming mode to meeting mode. During this time I'll go to the bathroom, grab a snack, water, mute all my email notifications, close any non essential programs, get my code ready if I need to present it.

Stuff is hard & stressful right now, but hopefully these tips will make it a bit easier. If anyone else has any good tips please share them.

  • 5
    This is a great list. I especially agree with #1 and it's why I didn't set up an environment on my private computer. The barrier to check up on non-work stuff becomes so much smaller.

    The biggest thing for me and which is in tune with most of your points is that I need that sense of "being at work" to be able to focus. Phone in silent mode, work OS, breakfast and lunch at regular times, be responsive to messages as if they walked into my office at work.
  • 0
    Good list, but I would eat the lunch while working and go for a walk outside for the lunch break. Also, I disagree with 4).
  • 2
    Reading this while I should be working.

    forgot to remove distractions
    but I'm on my 10 min break ;)
  • 0
    @electrineer these are just tips I found that work for me, they may not necessarily work for everyone :)
  • 0
    @reginsmol i totally agree with 4. I never worked from home before and i like being at the office for exactly the same reason... workplace is workplace... home is the place to relax. I find that getting ready for work puts me in the work mode and i am really productive that way.
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