10 Tips for Transitioning to Work At Home

Written by desimslaughter

November 20, 2022

10 minutes
(Estimated reading time)
Are you currently or thinking about transitioning to a work at home job? Here are 10 tips to help you make the transition with ease.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a major change in how we work, with a significant increase in people working from home across the US. Despite this shift happening rapidly and with little preparation, we have all managed to adapt to this new reality, making remote work a new norm for many. 

“In the new era of remote work, Michigan has emerged as a place that can support workers and companies navigating new workforce realities.”

Kathleen Achtenberg, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). 2021

According to Census data, the percentage of people working from home in Michigan has tripled between 2019 and 2022, which aligns with the national increase. Even more impressive is that over 13% of Michigan employees worked from home in 2022, up from just 4.5% three years ago. 

Michigan and its communities invest in programs and infrastructure to help remote talent thrive in the state. This support is fantastic news for everyone, especially if you’re considering a move to Michigan. The cost of living here is 10% lower than the national average, making it an affordable and attractive option. With the freedom and flexibility of remote work, you’ll be able to enjoy more of what makes you happy in this wonderful state.

As someone who calls Michigan home and has worked remotely, I know firsthand how important it is to make this transition as smooth and productive as possible. Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or just starting out, these 10 tips will help you thrive in your home office environment. So, let’s dive in and make the most of this exciting new era of work!

Tip 1: Create a Dedicated Workspace

Creating a specific area in your home exclusively reserved for work is essential to your success. Your home office can be any area in your house, such as a spare room, a corner of your living room, or even a cozy nook you enjoy. However, having a separate room with a door you can close would be ideal for minimizing distractions and creating a quiet, focused environment. 

A dedicated workspace can help you mentally separate your professional life from your personal life, which can increase your productivity and help you stay on task. When you have a designated workspace, you may find it easier to get into a work mindset, especially if you add personal touches that make you feel comfortable and motivated. For example, you could add plants or other decorations that inspire you, as well as inspirational quotes or photos that help you stay focused.

In addition to helping you stay focused, having a separate workspace can also help you create healthy boundaries between your work and personal life, especially if you work longer hours or struggle to unplug from work at the end of the day. By having a designated workspace that you use only for work, you can more easily separate your work life from your personal life, which can help you maintain a better work-life balance overall.

Tip 2: #Establish a Routine

When working from home, it can be easy to fall into the trap of abandoning your regular routine. However, maintaining a routine is crucial for staying productive and achieving your daily goals. Setting consistent work hours and sticking to them as much as possible is essential to helping you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.

Starting your day off on the right foot with a morning routine that helps you get in the right mindset for work is also vital for success. Your routine could include exercising, meditating, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee while you plan your day. By doing so, you’ll be able to improve your mindset and feel more energized and ready to tackle your tasks.

It’s important to note that sticking to a routine will help you maintain structure and discipline, which are essential for staying productive. Setting aside time for work, breaks, and other activities allows you to manage your time effectively and achieve your goals without feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. So, establish a routine that works for you and stick to it as much as possible.

Tip #3: Invest in Ergonomic Furniture

Physical comfort is a top priority when working long hours at your home office. One way to achieve this is by investing in a comfortable chair that optimally supports your posture. A good chair should have adjustable height, a backrest, and a comfy seat to prevent strain on your neck and back.

Another crucial aspect to consider is the height of your desk. A desk that is too high or too low can cause discomfort, leading to neck and back pain. Therefore, choosing a desk at the appropriate height is best, where your feet can rest flat on the floor and your arms are at a comfortable angle while typing or using the mouse.

In addition to a comfortable chair and desk, ergonomic accessories can help improve your physical well-being. A keyboard tray, for example, can help you maintain the correct posture while typing, preventing strain on your wrists and shoulders. Similarly, a standing desk converter can help you alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, improving your circulation and reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

Taking care of your physical well-being can improve your focus and productivity while working from home. So, investing in comfortable and ergonomic office equipment that will support your physical health and well-being is essential.

Tip #4: Set Boundaries with Household Members

Working from home can sometimes make distinguishing between work and personal life difficult, particularly if you share the space with family members or roommates. A shared environment can lead to distractions and interruptions, making it challenging to maintain focus and productivity. Establishing clear boundaries and communicating them effectively with your family members or roommates is essential to minimize these disruptions.

One effective strategy for maintaining boundaries is clearly defining your work hours and letting others know when you are available to chat and when you need to focus on work. Setting expectations for when you can be interrupted and when you need uninterrupted focus can go a long way. Consider posting your schedule in a common area or sharing it with those you live with so everyone knows your availability and can plan accordingly.

Additionally, it is important to communicate your needs and preferences for your work environment. For instance, you may need a quiet space to work or prefer to work with some background noise. By making your preferences known, you can work collaboratively with those you live with to create a comfortable, productive work environment that respects everyone’s needs.

Setting clear boundaries and communicating effectively with your family members or roommates can establish mutual respect and ensure a peaceful coexistence while you work from home. Doing so can minimize distractions and interruptions, maintain productivity and focus, and create a positive work-life balance.

Tip #5: Take Regular Breaks

Getting caught up in work and forgetting to take breaks is easy, but doing so is essential for your well-being and productivity. Short breaks throughout your day to stretch, walk around, relax, and recharge are necessary to maintain focus and avoid burnout. 

One effective technique to help you stay on track is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. During your break, you can do something that helps you relax, such as taking a walk, stretching, or listening to music. After four Pomodoro cycles, you can take a longer break of 15-30 minutes to recharge.

Remember, taking breaks isn’t just a luxury but a necessity for maintaining peak performance. It not only helps you avoid burnout, but it also improves your focus, creativity, and productivity in the long run. So, prioritize taking breaks and incorporate them into your daily routine. Your mind and body will thank you for it!

Tip #6: Utilize Technology for Collaboration

Working from home can often lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from your team since you’ll spend most of your time alone. That’s why taking advantage of the available technological tools is crucial to staying connected with your colleagues, clients, and collaborators.

Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams can play a significant role in virtual meetings, allowing you to communicate face-to-face with your team members. These platforms also have various features, including screen sharing, recording, and virtual backgrounds, making your meetings more productive and enjoyable.

Project management platforms like Monday.com, Asana, or Trello can help you stay organized and manage your tasks efficiently. With these tools, you can assign tasks, set deadlines, and track project progress, ensuring everyone on your team stays on the same page.

Messaging apps like Slack and Google Chat can be a great way to stay connected with your team members for quick communication and collaboration. You can use these apps to share files, links, and updates, as well as for group discussions and private conversations.

By embracing these tools, you can foster collaboration, maintain a sense of camaraderie with your colleagues, and ensure that you stay productive while working remotely.

Tip #7: Minimize Distractions

Getting distracted by various things around you can be easy when working from home. These distractions can come in many forms, such as household chores, social media notifications, or general background noise. Identifying your biggest distractions and taking proactive steps to minimize them is important to be productive and stay on task.

One of the most effective ways to minimize distractions is to turn off notifications on your phone or computer. Without the constant interruption of alerts from social media or messaging apps, you can more easily stay focused on your work. Another effective method is using website blockers to limit your time on non-work-related sites to help you avoid getting sidetracked by browsing the internet or scrolling through social media feeds.

It can also be helpful to set specific times for household chores and other activities. By doing this, you can ensure that these tasks don’t interfere with your workday. For instance, schedule a time for doing laundry or cleaning the kitchen, and make sure that you stick to that schedule so you can focus on your work without worrying about other tasks that you need to do.

Creating a distraction-free environment is key to staying focused and productive while working from home. You can also use noise-canceling headphones or play background music to help drown out distracting noises.

Tip #8: Stay Connected with Your Network

Working from home can not only feel isolating from your team but also in maintaining other professional relationships. However, it’s essential to remain connected with your professional network to stay up-to-date with industry trends and opportunities.

Two of the most effective ways to build and maintain professional relationships remotely are attending networking events and scheduling coffee chats with colleagues, mentors, and connections. Many organizations are more regularly hosting free or low-cost virtual networking events that you can attend from the comfort of your own home, which is an excellent way to connect with like-minded professionals and expand your network. These events and meetings allow you to catch up with your contacts, discuss new ideas, and even seek feedback on your work. You can also join online communities related to your industry or interests to connect with other professionals, share ideas, and ask for advice. You can find these communities on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, online forums, and other places. 

Building and nurturing relationships when working from home requires effort, but it’s worth it. Your network is your most valuable asset, and it can open up opportunities for collaboration, learning, and support. So, invest time in cultivating it, even when working from home.

Tip #9: Practice Self-Care

It’s easy to get caught up in work and neglect self-care, leading to burnout and negatively impacting your well-being. To avoid such situations, it’s critical to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that help you relax and rejuvenate. 

Refraining from checking work emails or taking work-related calls during your off hours is also important. During your free time, consider scheduling regular exercise breaks, practicing mindfulness, or taking up hobbies you enjoy. You can also recharge your batteries by meditating, going for a walk, or simply taking a few deep breaths.

Remember, caring for yourself is not selfish but essential for long-term success and happiness. By prioritizing self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be better equipped to tackle your work responsibilities and enjoy your personal life.

Tip #10: Review and Adjust Regularly

It’s essential to regularly assess and refine your work-from-home setup for optimal efficiency and comfort. Analyze your setup by evaluating your workspace arrangement, daily routine, and use of technology to identify strengths and areas for improvement. By analyzing your current setup, you can make informed decisions about what’s working well and what needs adjustment. Be open to trying new approaches and fine-tuning your setup to maximize productivity and happiness while working from home as you gain experience. With some effort and attention to detail, you can create a workspace that supports your goals and helps you succeed.

Final Thoughts…

By implementing these 10 tips, you’ll be well-equipped to transition to and thrive in your work-from-home setup as a solopreneur or professional in Michigan. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and adapting as you go. Embrace the flexibility and freedom that comes with working from home, and leverage this opportunity to curate a workspace and lifestyle that aligns with your unique requirements and aspirations.

Want more information to help set up your home office?

Check out this FREE Home Office Checklist, available in our Freebie Library. To access the library, sign up for our email newsletter to get the password.

How do you feel about a work-at-home lifestyle?

Leave a response in the comments section below. We’ll be checking!

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About the Author

Desi Slaughter

I’m Desi M. Slaughter, a creative professional, solopreneur, and digital creative. I wake up every day with the drive to make a positive impact on the world and inspire others on their journey. Through my blog and businesses, I hope to make connections with all of you entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners! Let's connect — You can find me pretty much anywhere online as @desimslaughter.

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