While many people have only just recently started working from home, with the advent of the pandemic, I have been working from home since 1999. You guys. That’s a long time. Almost 23 years!!!
Granted, when I started working from home, I was working a corporate marketing job for a company in NYC. The WFH sitch was supposed to be temporary, but lasted nine years, until I left to become a voice actor.
It’s easy to mismanage working from home, because, as people, we want to be good employees and businesses. We want to please. So, we’ll check and respond to email at all hours, on weekends. Or we’ll get a jump on that client project because, hey, it’s just right here and I can work on it while I’m watching Wheel of Fortune.
Everyone is different, and people thrive in different environments. But for me, I had to implement a few things to make my WFH situation successful, while maintaining a social and family life.
Here are a few tips, as Part 1 of my WFH strategies:
– Create a dedicated workspace. This was vital for me, both in my corporate WFH job, and well, obviously, in voice acting. I have created very comfortable, happy space in my home by using one of our bedrooms and turning it in to a studio/office. I do not record in a booth, but have utilized the entire room as a recording studio. I have natural light, which I LOVE. I recently re-decorated, too, which has made a huge difference in my happiness. I also like to burn a nice smelling candle – it really adds to my peacefulness.
– Keep scheduled hours. I generally keep 9-5 hours. In voice over, I do stray from that sometimes, because I have a number of clients overseas, and on the west coast of the US. Auditions and work are often needed asap, so, there are times when I’ll hop in to my studio to record during the evening. But in general, I keep office hours.
– Socialize. It is far too easy to just not leave the house. I’ve been known to not leave to 3-5 days! Crazy, right? Purposefully do things to create opportunities outside of your home office. Schedule lunch with a friend or spouse once or twice a week, volunteer once or twice a month, join a professional organization and get involved… you get the drift. Just make sure you see people and remain a human, and not become a hermit.
– Exercise. This kind of goes along with socialize, but I wanted to give it its own bulletpoint. Make sure you move around!! It’s so easy to just sit at your desk, and keep sitting – between email, social media, work projects – you can get sucked in, and before you know it, hours have passed and your rump has been sitting in that fancy office chair for half the day! I used to take regular walks, and I do have to get up to walk our dogs a couple of times a day, so that’s helpful. I am also addicted to Pure Barre. That barre studio is my Happy Place! I love the people there, and the workout is wonderful. I try to get there at least four times a week. And yes, sometimes that’s during my work day, but that is also the beauty of working from home – flexibility in schedule!
I hope you find these tips helpful. Be sure to come back in the next week or so for Part 2!