Tips For The Work From Home Mom
With the way this, well, over a year now has been going, I have found that more and more people that I know are going down the work from home path. Either it’s a personal choice, or a company one. I have been working from home for the last 5 years now, and while it’s wonderful and I wouldn’t change it for anything, it takes some getting used to, especially if you are coming from an office environment. And the cherry on the top of the work from home cake is the whole different ball game you are playing if you are also a mom. Now my daughter is older, but she also is in online school, which means we are both at home, all day. It’s a delicate balance to make sure my work is getting done, her work is getting done, and not letting work bleed over into family life since it’s all done in the same place. So I wanted to create a list of tips for the work from home mom of things that helped me along the way, and I hope some of these tips will help my fellow moms who are joining the work from home force (and help you keep your sanity!) Let’s check them out!
Here are my tips for the work from home mom (that will help you keep your sanity)
- Establish your work space- It’s so easy when you are working from home to just work where you want. Some days I would work from my kitchen, sometimes from my bedroom, or even my couch. Which sounds super fun right? Well, it was, until I had a hard day at work and it even when I was off of work I felt like I was still in work mode because I had been working from my couch for the last 8 hours. Trust me when I say that setting up a dedicated work space is crucial when setting a work/home life boundary.
- Set a work day routine- Unlike an office setting where you have a set schedule of the way the day is meant to flow, you might not have that same structure at home. I found myself starting late, working late, and forgetting to eat when I was deep into a project. Setting a schedule that you can follow during your work day will save you from burn out. Set alarms, make yourself reminders, whatever is the easiest way for you to get into a routine, and stick with it!
- Take time to get up from your desk- Studies show that sitting and staring at your computer for hours on end is simply bad for you! I know that those of us that work from home feel like it’s easier to just power through the day, we are at home after all, but it’s not good for your posture or you eyes. Once every hour make sure you take a few minutes to look away from your computer (and not go straight to looking at your phone). Get up and stretch, check the mail, admire the weather. Anything to get up and give your eyes (and bottom!) a break a few times a day is a good thing.
- Set some ground rules- This is important if you are sharing your work space with other family members. If your children are home, or come home during your work day, let them know of expectations for noise levels, interacting with you, and asking for things. If you need a quiet work space I recommend putting a Do Not Disturb sign on your door so people dropping of packages don’t ring your doorbell, and so friends and neighbors know you are busy. Just because you are home, doesn’t mean you have to be available when you are working.
- If you need something, ask- If your company is expecting you to work from home, they should be providing you with the essentials you need for your position. Now this of course only applies to companies who don’t outline that you need to provide your own equipment in your working contract. If you need IT work done on your computer, you are running out of printer ink, or your mouse just isn’t working like it use to, let your company know so they can ensure you have everything you need to work efficiently.
- Get out of the house- Ya’ll, this is an important one. With everything going on and the ease of working from home you don’t want to get stuck in a loop of never leaving your home. It’s important to maintain human interaction and going outside to get fresh air. So go for a drive, go have lunch with a friend, anything that gets you out of the house for a bit. At least once a week, if not more than that.
- Take your sick days- This is something I struggled with in the beginning. Even if I was sick, I felt like if I could get out of my bed and sniffle my way to the couch that I HAD to work. I implore you, if you are sick, take a sick day. Just because you can work, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t if you don’t feel well. It will set you up to not be able to take the time off when you need it. Send the email, make some tea, and go back to bed.
- It’s ok to enjoy your position- I LOVE working from home, and I am not afraid to be vocal about it. I know some people feel guilty that they “get” to work from home when others don’t’. Every job and position has it’s own set of challenges AND perks. Your job isn’t any less hard because you work from your home. You are allowed to enjoy what you do, and where you do it. Don’t let anyone steal your joy!
- Don’t be taken advantage of- This is something else (especially as a mom) that I struggled with. People would assume that since I was working from home that I would be willing and able to babysit for them, drop their kids off at practice, bake extra treats for the class party, etc. Set the expectation that you still have working hours, and no matter where you work from, they will be respected.
What tips would you give to a new work from home mom? Let me know in the comments below! Before you go check out my other working from home articles. Then see some easy crockpot recipes to help you get dinner on the table. Lastly, follow us on pinterest, by email (top of the page) or on twitter to help see all our articles when they come out!