compiled by Ann Byle
Those new to working from home can learn much from those who have been doing so for years. In this post, freelance writers who are associate members of the Evangelical Press Association offer their best advice for those who have moved their work home. This is the first in what we hope will be a series of resources.
Set Up Shop
- Allocate space for work. Allocated space is a tax advantage for freelancers. For those temporarily working from home, a distinct work space allows you to “get” to work and to “leave” work at the end of the day.
- Work space can be an unused bedroom, a table facing a window, the end of a hallway, the little-used dining room table. Make sure there is a nearby wall plug, writing utensils, note paper, task lighting, and a storage tray/box.
- If you must share work space, designate specific hours for each person and a place (drawer or box) for each person’s work-related materials.
Manage Your Time
- Create structure for your days with regular start and end times, break times, and lunchtimes. Answer work emails only during work hours. Avoid erratic work hours or all-hours workdays. When work is done, walk away.
- Limit the number of personal phone calls and appointments during your work day, or “herd” them into breaktimes.
- Educate family and pets to respect your work schedule and space. No interruptions during calls; work space is not Lego/craft/fort space. Crate the dog, shut the door, put on headphones if necessary.
- Create a to-do list every day and cross off what you have accomplished. These acts help you remember tasks and see what you’ve done.
- Work for several hours, then take a break. Nobody can work six hours straight.
- Be flexible. Working early in the morning or later in the afternoon or evening can give you family time in the middle of the day when it is most needed.
Be Kind to Yourself
- Family events, sick pets, unproductive days happen. Start over tomorrow.
To download a printable sheet with these tips, click here, and please share this post with colleagues and friends who are struggling to adapt to working from home.