Updated: May 18
I went from London office girl to full-time freelancer in New York last Nov, when my husband got a job overseas.
After working as a Marketing Manager, heading up the Marketing team for a global music education charity - working on content, product launches and brand strategy - I gave up the commute, the colleagues, the swanky office coffee machine ...
... And the transition was interesting.
People have this romantic idea about working from home and being a freelancer. And most of the time it is amazing to be able to manage your own time and workload more completely. But honestly, I found it really tough at first. There were just so many changes to get used to.
Now with so many offices enforcing a working from home policy this week, these tips might be useful for anyone who is leaving their work stations and setting up from home whilst we see out Covid-19.
Get up, get dressed, go out!
These three simple things each morning will set you up for the day.
Obviously only go out if it is safe to do so, y'all - but even if it is just a quick, brisk walk round the block (keeping a safe distance from others), it gets you out of the house and gets some air into your lungs!
And... Working in your PJs might be fun to start with, but you feel like a total slob after a couple of days. Trust.
Have a designated place to work.
There will be loads of people that will hate me for saying this, but girrrrrrl, working in bed or whilst lounging on the sofa in front of the TV might be cool and all, but the novelty WILL wear off.
Do you really want to deal with back pain, respond to difficult colleagues, customers or clients in the place where you relax? Nope. It's pants.
Separate work from home and only deal with work in your designated work areas. You'll feel better, it will give you some distance and your productivity will increase too!
Disclaimer: Excuse the army house (none of this furniture is mine), oh, and the hunch back (my god!!) but here is me!
Talk to someone.
Yourself. Family. Friends. The dog. The plant. Whoever. Seriously.
If you are still part of a team, you should have no issue with this, but if you are working on an isolated project or work for yourself, it can be difficult.
If I don't have any client calls scheduled, sometimes I don't open my mouth until 6pm when my husband gets home. It's not the best feeling when you get to the end of the day and realise you've barely said a word to anyone. At all. Ever.
I might look like a crazy person, but I talk to myself all the time now. I critic my work out loud. I ask myself questions. I challenge my approaches. I sing! And I alllllways have the radio or spotify on.
Be strict with yourself.
Make sure you have proper breaks. Do some yoga or a home work out at lunch to get you away from the desk. But most importantly, make sure you set a time to shut down!!
If you don't, you can end up working way longer that you should, and this isn't a habit you should entertain. It quickly becomes your norm and it will really impact on your down time, your mood and your sleep!
If you are anything like me, I get sucked into work so easily (I call it the design hole). I often start working on something quite detailed in the afternoon, look up after what feels like 5 mins and the sun has gone down and I'm left working in the dark! Seriously.
Check out Tomato Timer, which breaks your day into chunks to help you manage your time. But most importantly...
Shut it DOWN!
Hope these help. Stay safe, ya'll