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    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Working from Home: What are Your Pro Tips?

    For the past month and a half, I've had the privilege of working from home.

    The benefits are unquestionable:  I don't commute, I simply walk up and down the stairs to go to work; I can pitch in throughout the day if my wife finds herself in a pinch; Should sudden inspiration hit me, I am mere steps away from a comfortable work environment.

    But I find that there are some surprising catches that I didn't expect.  For instance, now that my work and home are effectively the same place, it's harder for me to "leave work behind".  Without a commute, there's no time to wind down.  It's much harder to hold "meetings" as I have to work around the sleep schedules of my young children.

    Another interesting side-effect is that I am finding myself working more.  After the kids go to bed it's way to easy to walk upstairs and continue what I left behind earlier in the afternoon.  This is time my wife and I have traditionally spent together.  I also tend to "get to work" earlier, walking upstairs with coffee in hand, having spent only a few minutes walking around downstairs like a zombie til I am almost fully awake.

    So, while working from home is truly an awesome thing (at least for me), I'm finding that it requires a completely different set of coping mechanisms.  I wanted to toss out the question to all of you that do or have had the opportunity to work from home:

    What survival skills have you developed to allow you to be more productive while working from home?

    Leave your comments below, and after a bit, I'll compile these pro tips into a blog post.

    42 comments:

    rls03 said...

    Hey Mike,

    I find that taking a walk around the block once a day can be very helpful in "leaving work behind." Seeing things in your house, which is also your place of work, can be very monotonous, so walking outside can be refreshing. In fact when we worked together I would sometimes walk to Starbucks, which would mean crossing the parkway. Certainly having my brain kick into survival mode (didn't want to get hit by oncoming vehicles) helped me to think more clearly once I got back to my desk.

    Sarah Lemn said...

    My tips for working from home: (Thought I must admit I don't always follow them.)
    1. Actually get up and get ready for the day as if you were going to an office.
    2. Try not to come down too much with the kiddos, for us it can just make the day for more complicated for them.
    3. Have a separate space/office to work from.

    I can't help with the leaving work behind. I'm awful at it and can totally relate to never being able to walk away. :) Enjoy working from home!

    Michael.Rollins said...

    Hey guys! Thanks for commenting.

    @rls03 (by the way, can't quite make out your name from your Blogger ID) Getting away from work, walking around, etc, is definitely important. Going from always having time away from home to always being home can be challenging. Cabin fever is no good.

    @sarah Dalynn has commented that me coming down and interacting with the kids can make the day harder on her. Perhaps I need to move a coffee pot up to our room...

    rls03 said...

    Mike, you may know me better as the greatest ping pong player you've ever seen!

    Michael.Rollins said...

    So, Anthony, why are you blogging under some random pseudonym of "rls03"?

    rls03 said...

    LOL! Too funny!

    rls03 said...

    Mike, you may know me better as the greatest ping pong player you've ever seen!

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