What really happens when you work from home…

Enter [what’s been on my mind]

As much as I love working from home (on my couch…in my pajamas…), I must admit that when I’m at the office, I’m much more alert and effective.

Blink [see a new perspective]

The article Snack Laundry Lunch Clean Snack reveals a survey with disturbing results: what employees confess they are actually doing while they work from home.  For example, “43 percent of workers say they’ve watched TV or a movie while ‘working’ remotely, while 35 percent have done household chores, and 28 percent have cooked dinner.”  When I work from home, I find that my taste buds are uncharacteristically high-maintenance:  This iced coffee sure sounded good 10 minutes ago, but now I want a hot earl grey tea…and wouldn’t some toasted almonds be a great pick-me-up?…perhaps with a bit of dark chocolate…Is it lunch time yet?…I should probably start something on the stove right now…and take out that chicken to thaw for dinner…

It’s amazing how much time I spend in the kitchen when I work from home.

Shift [try it out]

If you must work from home, establish some boundaries.  Turn the television off, designate your lunch break, clarify when you’re on the clock versus off the clock, and finally – don’t work in your pajamas.  You probably won’t just lie down for a second when you’re in heels and a skirt (or a suit and tie).  But when you wear pajamas, you’re halfway to a nap.

Listen [hear from our community]

At Innovatively Organized, we not only work with busy entrepreneurs who work from home, but my team and I work from our home offices as well.  It certainly takes discipline to set boundaries around your time in order to stay productive when you work from home.  Just because you have a home office, doesn’t mean you should be watching television or doing laundry during the day.  It’s important to set up your home office to operate efficiently and feel welcoming.  This helps you avoid sitting on the couch with a laptop where it’s easy to get distracted.  Also, I’ve found it is important to set expectations and have open communication with family members when you work from home.  If you aren’t used to it yet, the lines can blur easily.”  –Elizabeth Bowman, President & Founder of Innovatively Organized

Innovatively Organized is also hosting an event tomorrow that will give tips for mobile professionals – find out more here.


6 replies
  1. Sami Dyer
    Sami Dyer says:

    You hit the facts on the dot! I love that you bring up “realistic” topics that readers can actually benefit from. This is great advice, Annie! :)

  2. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Working from home always sounds so appealing. I find myself envying those folks. However, the grass isn’t always greener and it sounds like you find your attention wandering. But I agree with what you said about not wearing pajamas. Back in the day if I did phone interviews I would always dress up, it makes you feel more professional. Thanks for the great post Annie, you’ve definitely highlighted an ongoing issue.

  3. Elizabeth K.
    Elizabeth K. says:

    Thanks for the blog post Annie! For me, I love having a mix of working from home and working at the office. I have a great desk set-up at home that makes it easy for me to tune out the distractions. I also save my tasks that need “extra concentration” for my work-from-home days because I’m less likely to get interrupted by coworkers:)

    • Annie Vander Pol
      Annie Vander Pol says:

      Sounds like you have a good routine going – I think I still need to work on my home office…and those distraction issues :)


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