If you’re one of the many folks who know find themselves working from home, I’ve got some tips that can make the whole process a bit easier. I’ve been a remote worker for a long time. I’ve worked from a home office running my own business and working for others. Here’s what I consider to be the essentials for making it work:

Get Connected

Make sure your Internet connection is up to the task. If you have to pay a little more for a faster connection, it could be worth it in the long run with the time you’ll save with work and classroom interruptions.

Wireless router

If the connection seems slow, use a speed checker like Fast.com to determine if you’re getting the connection you’re paying for.

If that’s not the issue, click here to learn how to speed up your connection.

Make Space

Make a dedicated work space. Don’t work from bed or your coffee table with the TV on. A separate room where you can close the door is ideal but if you don’t have that, carve out a corner somewhere.

Or make the everyday space you’re using off-limits for other activity during your work time. If that means everyone stays out of the office or the family room between 9 and 5, so be it.

Set a Schedule

Some work from home comes with a set schedule. If yours does not, set one. If home life necessitates breaking it up into three blocks, that’s okay. You can work 5 am to 8 am, 1 pm to 4 pm, and 8 pm to 10 pm, if you need to. But designated working times will keep you from spending too much or too little time working.

A set schedule enables you to set boundaries with friends and family members who may think that just because you work from home, you’re always available.

Get Dressed

I know people love to joke about working in their pajamas but I say ‘don’t do it.’ You certainly don’t have to put on a suit to work at home (but it might get you in the right frame of mind).

hospitable woman at reception of antique hotel
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Be sure to change out of what you slept in and put on something you consider clothing fit to wear out. And groom yourself as if you were heading out. Brush your hair, shave, put on makeup… whatever your routine was when you had to go out into the world on a daily basis.

Put on shoes even though you don’t need them. It makes a difference, trust me.

Keep It Separate

If your workplace provides you with a computer or other devices, don’t use them as your personal device. Certainly don’t allow other members of your household to access them.

If you’re working from your personal computer, I’d suggest creating two user accounts, one for work and one for home. Consider using the Windows 10 multiple desktop feature to put all of your work stuff on one desktop and your other documents and programs on another.

Get Secure

Make sure your wireless network is password-protected. Consider connecting with a VPN for added security. Some workplaces are willing to pay for it.

If you’re using your personal devices for work, make sure you have up-to-date security and follow best practices for keeping your device safe.

You should always be hyper-careful about where you click and what you open. But when you’re also putting your employer’s data risk, be hyper-vigilant.