Snow Day! Seven Tips for Working from Home

As I write this, snow is falling -- again -- in Kansas City, and lots of my friends are making plans to work at home. Welcome to my world! And, because we're buds, I'm going to share my top seven tips for working at home successfully:

  1. Get up and get going. Set the alarm and get to the office on time -- even if the office is upstairs, downstairs or at the dining room table. On the bright side, you can save time by going to work in your jammies or sweats. Yep. I bill in my jammies. Make all the jokes you want.
  2. If you have a landline, ignore it. You're at work. Let the machine take the message and call mom back later. If you don't know what a landline is, you're a pup and I'm jealous. Go away. (Fine. Stay. Hang out with us geezers and maybe we'll both learn something.)
  3. Enjoy social media. But ... and this is an important but ... don't let it suck you in just because there's no one around. Limit your time on Facebook, Twitter, or any other site you wouldn't loiter on at the office.
  4. Take a lunch break. Everyone needs a break. Including you.
  5. Don't think you can take care of the kids, do the laundry, play with the pets, make dinner, and work. When you're at work, be at work. When you're at home, be at home. Even if you work at home.
  6. Treat the kitchen like a break room. If you need coffee, go get it. If you need a snack, go get it. Don't dawdle. Don't stand at the refrigerator and graze. Working at home can be an invitation to gain weight. Consider yourself warned.
  7. Walk away at 5 p.m. Or 6 p.m. Or whenever you would typically walk away. One of the dangers of working at home is that you can work all the time. All the time. Trust me on this -- I've been doing it for more than 10 years. WALK AWAY.

And here's a bonus bunch of tips on what to do after work: Build a snowman. Build a fort in the living room. Light a fire. Play Scrabble -- which is not Words with Friends. Put a puzzle together. Make soup from scratch. Make s'mores.

And if you're really looking for a diversion, start a blog.

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