7 great habits for working from home

Working from home is a great gig if you can get it. There’s no commute, no irritating colleagues to deal with every day and no fighting for a car park or a clean fork at lunchtime.

Even though working from home has serious perks there are also drawbacks that need consideration. Most people work more efficiently when they’re being monitored and it can be very difficult to work effectively in your own home when there’s a bathroom that needs cleaning and washing that needs folding. Working from home effectively is totally achievable, you just need to develop some good home habits.

1. Be properly dressed for the duration of your work day

Although you don’t technically need to get dressed to work from home, psychologically it’s better to get properly dressed, rather than sit around in your pyjamas all day. It also creates a mental barrier between work and rest time. If you try to work in the same clothes you sleep in, your brain won’t get the cue that it’s time to work.

2. Schedule check in times with your colleagues

This is a particularly excellent habit for people who struggle to stay on task. Organise a time to check in with a colleague once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If you let your colleague know what you hope to achieve during your morning meeting and then let them know how you went in your afternoon meeting, it will keep you on track for the work day. You’re more likely to do your work if you have to report to someone at the end of the day.

Pros and cons: Home or traditional office

3. Manage your energy

Walking the dog, Merri Creek Trail


Managing your time is great but managing your energy is more important. People who work in offices tend to do more incidental exercise than people who work from home. Walking from the car or public transport to the office, walking around a large commercial building, making short trips to the post office or ducking down the road for a coffee. People who work from home don’t tend to have these physical breaks so they need to be created.

Make sure you get up and move around at least once every hour and maybe even walk around the block. If you spend all day in the same small room, you’ll mentally and physically exhaust yourself.

People who work in offices tend to do more incidental exercise.

4. Leave your house at least once a day

You need to separate your work life from your home life and it’s very difficult to do that if you don’t leave your house. Go for a walk, go grocery shopping, go to the gym, just go somewhere. You need be very disciplined about leaving your house every day.

Staying healthy: Working from home without losing the plot

5. Time your breaks

Computer and a cup of tea on a table


For people who work from home, taking sufficient breaks is a common problem. It’s easy to clock off for a lunch break and accidentally spend the whole time vacuuming the floor or cleaning up the kitchen. You need to set a timer for at least 30 minutes and have a proper break. Take the time to eat your lunch and do an activity that is not work or housework related. It’s important to set the timer so you don’t cut yourself short.

Set a timer for at least 30 minutes and have a proper break.

6. Log your time

This is a great way to hold yourself accountable for the time you spend working at home. Set a timer when you start your work day and stop the timer every time you get distracted by social media, email or housework. It can be very easy to waste a lot of time working from home so you should to keep yourself accountable.

Good practice: Clocking off in the home office

7. Set rewards for goal completion

If you want to make yourself a cup of tea or have a snack, set yourself a goal that has to be completed before you allow yourself a break. Say you have to reply to three emails, finish one more paragraph or do another 15 minutes on your current task. It’s a great way to keep you motivated and tick of little tasks you’ve been procrastinating on.